An 18 year old young woman sets off on a journey alone to find her missing father. This would be a tough experience for anyone, but when you put it in a historical setting where travel was by wagon train it takes on a whole different experience.
Rachel is in a tough situation. She is traveling alone by train, boat, and wagon train. She is pretty and young which makes her a target for unscrupulous men. She comes from a family of wealth, so living life on a trail with little food or water is a hardship she is not used to.
I enjoyed reading about her experiences and the will to survive in difficult situations. As a character she undertakes a lot of growth and becomes better for it.
Peter is an interesting character. He is the silent type who keeps his thoughts to himself. When they meet, you could call it a rocky beginning. In many ways he helped Rachel to grow by letting her be stubborn. He didn't play the gentleman and insist on coddling her.
I found this to be an enjoyable book.
Author Kristen McKendry has written an inspiring and touching novel in her latest release, Heart’s Journey. Full adventure, mishaps, and romance, readers will fall in love with this well-written story, as well as the delightfully-crafted characters as they trek across the country in the wilderness of British Columbia. Not only will this novel touch the heart of its readers, but will leave them longing for an exciting adventure of their own. I would recommend this novel to readers that enjoy both adventure and romance.
Genre: historical fiction, LDS fiction
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Publication date: September 5, 2015
Number of pages: 312
A review copy of this novel was provided by Covenant Communications.
Rachel, a wealthy young woman, decides to leave her home in Toronto and travel across Canada to find her dad in British Columbia. He left years earlier to prospect for gold and hasn't been heard from for three years. No one wants to take her on, but she finally convinces someone to let her journey with their wagon train. After a lot of hardships, adjusting to trail life and lewd men, she finds herself alone in the wilds of Canada, without a thought of how to survive, until Peter stumbles upon her and takes pity on her. That's when the story really picks up and gets good, although it was interesting prior to that point.
Rachel has secrets and doesn't want anyone to know who she really is and against his better judgment, Peter allows her to travel with him and a young boy, Shorty. They've both got secrets to hide and they all work well together to survive and keep their secrets intact.
I'm a firm believer that anyone can learn life lessons and love a good story that proves that. Rachel is just 18 and has a lot to learn about life, but she's got grit, determination, and the ability to learn quickly on her side. Peter is 31 and even he learned a few things along the way, although he's been around and has a lot of experience in life. The character growth in both of these people is astounding and heartwarming. I loved the people they came across and the way they learned something from them all, taking those lessons to heart. My favorites were Lizzie, a woman crossing Canada with her boys to meet up with her husband who went on before, and Karl, Joanna, and Ed, a farm family, who all completely won my heart.
As for the actual crossing--I don't think I've ever read a story where the characters crossed Canada in pioneer times. I found the setting and situations fascinating and enjoyed the journey, probably much more than the characters did. It was a lot of hard work, but was worth it.
I found myself a little disappointed in Rachel and how she handled things at the end, yet I was satisfied, for the most part. I really grew to love the characters and to empathize with them and their hardships. Great story!
Content: near attacks on a woman; talk of war/fighting, deaths, infection (not graphic); mild romance (non-descriptive kissing, man and woman sleeping by each other, but not with each other, brief mention of prostitutes); very brief mention of religion. Clean!
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
Heart's Journey is a gentle adventure of growth and love. Not romantic love, but a love for people and places and of self. I really, really enjoyed this book.
Yes, Rachel Hamilton is a bit naive. She thinks she knows so much and, as is typical for most young people, she also thinks she can do anything. One of the best parts of this book was watching Rachel's transformation from a girl to a woman. She is strong mentally with determination but her strength is tested in ways she never thought possible- physically and emotionally. Rachel goes from a soft, genteel young woman to a woman who knows how to work hard. She learns to deal with the difficulties of travel. Her body becomes stronger and more capable.
Mostly I loved Rachel's "Heart's Journey" as the title so easily expresses. Rachel thinks she knows people and places because she has read or heard about them but her experiences teach her that there is so much more to know. Rachel learns how to really love people. She learns how to withhold judgment. People are so much more than what you first see.
The setting was both harsh and beautiful. The secondary characters were well defined and added depth and flavor to the book.
I just really loved this book. From beginning to end. All of it.
What a truly delightful book!
I absolutely loved it!
Subtle humor mixed in with strong emotions and a determination that will not quit.
I was increasingly intrigued with the adventure of travel across the country. We so take for granted our ability to hop in a car or jump on a plane to travel that far.
And to do it under the open skies, with little food and water, and I cannot even imaging the time that Rachel was lost and alone for a few days...so incredibly written...such wonderful description!
I loved the developing relationship between Peter and Rachel and wait until you read about Shorty--he stole my heart.
What would you do and how far would you travel to find a loved one?
An incredibly fantastic story!
I highly recommend this one!
So well written!
Love this author!
I thoroughly enjoyed McKendry's book Heart's Journey. It was interesting to watch Rachel grow up as she faced some pretty tough situations. And I had to admire Peter for being willing to help Rachel when she wasn't the easiest person to get a long with -- she was down right snooty at times, but considering her background that isn't too surprising. I haven't read much about the settling of Canada so I also really enjoyed the setting. And there were some great secondary characters as well that helped both Rachel and Peter along the way. The romance felt believable as Rachel and Peter had to learn to look beyond the obvious outer trappings to find the gold inside each other. Even the ending felt real and suited the rest of the story. For those who enjoy great historical stories with a touch of romance, I can heartily recommend this one.
I really enjoyed Heart's Journey. For the most part this isn't a fast paced novel, but that fit well with the pace of the journey across the country in the wilderness. Even with that in mind, it wasn't a slow read. I read as much as I could over a weekend, and stayed up entirely too late trying to read "just a few more pages".
I really liked the characters. Rachel grew so much throughout the story, and I really liked who she became through everything she endured. I don't think that Peter really changed much throughout the story, but he didn't need to. His heart was opened a bit as the story progressed, but time and time again the reader was shown his goodness, and selflessness. There were some minor characters who added quite a bit to the story as well.
I'm a fan of historical fiction and I enjoyed reading about the different situations in crossing Canada, the interactions with travelers, settlers, and natives.
I wanted a little more near the end, but the epilogue tied things up nicely. This is a clean story, with an enjoyable romance. I would read more by this author.
Heart's Journey is a wonderful book with characters that come alive and a well-paced adventure through the wilds of Canada. There are some harrowing moments, but what I loved was how Rachel slowly grew as she is exposed to a whole new world and the people in it, both good and bad. Peter is essential in helping her on this journey, not only physically but mentally as she learns to see things from a new perspective and reconsiders the quick judgements she makes based on her limited upbringing. The families they interact and bond with are endearing and create an excellent cast of secondary characters. The various terrains they travel across are easy to visualize and appreciate in their wild beauty, even through their desperate circumstances. I loved how Rachel came to prefer the freedom of the great outdoors after her body grew acclimated to the tough conditions. The book has the vibe of an epic pioneer trek but with a more unique setting and a variety of interesting subplots. The romance was perfect and enhanced the tale of Rachel's journey rather than becoming the focus of the book. There are great moments between she and Peter as their relationship also undergoes a journey of its own. Highly recommend!
(Thank you to Covenant Communications for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)