Thursday, November 8, 2012

Willow Springs by Jan Watson: A Book Review

More and more I am enjoying historical fiction stories. The simpler times and high adventure make each story unique and enthralling. The same is true with Willow Springs. I realized all too late that I had missed the prequel to this novel by Jan Watson telling tales of Troublesome Creek and the fire-y Copper. Even without the introduction I grew to love Copper, with her kind heart and infectious personality.

From the back cover...
“Following a whirlwind courtship, seventeen-year-old Copper Brown finds herself living in the bustling city of Lexington, Kentucky, far away from her beloved mountain home, newly married to a man she barely knows. After running free on Troublesome Creek, Copper finds it difficult to adjust to city life and the demands of being a lady. Her new husband, Simon Corbett, is a busy medical doctor with a thriving practice and little time for the young woman he swept away from her home and family. Only when she begins to help Simon with his practice does Copper start to feel at peace with her husband and her new home. But neither of them could predict the tragedy that will change their lives forever…”
With my mind set in the late 1800’s I expected a story of time’s gone by romance. Instead, I found the same modern conflicts woven through Simon and Copper’s young marriage. With pressures of society on his shoulders, Simon’s initial attitude toward his young wife seems judgmental and posh but as he grows to love “Laura Grace” as Copper, for who she really is instead of what he expects of her, their relationship blooms in to one of gentle love and great kindness. Copper, feeling lost and alone, far from home in the city, only finds her place in Lexington as she learns to yield her heart to Simon and those she meets along the way. The lessons found in their rocky beginning are wonderful reminders for the modern marriage.

The author pens Copper as seventeen, but my mind casts her as an older character – closer to 25. It is her gentle spirit that sets Copper apart – a strong desire to serve those around her and an unwavering desire to live in a way pleasing to the Lord.

Their story is one of medical mayhem, midnight adventures, and daily chores. I’d forgotten the back cover as I read, not expecting tragedy, and was startled to find tear stains on my pages. Simon and Copper capture the heart easily and I was sad to see the final chapter so soon.

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