I loved this book by Kim Sawyer! Although not a typical prairie romance, it was definitely a romance! Just one set in Alaska at a mission post for the Athabascan Indian tribe. I fell in love with both the unique main characters from the start.
Lizzie Dawson is a very independent young woman who has lived on her own for years. Not a part of the tribe of her dead Indian mother or the white father who left them years ago, she has made her own way, using the skills of the Athabascans to survive.
Clay Selby has left the lower states to become a missionary like his own father. When he encounters the beautiful blue-eyed Indian girl, he wonders at her story. What he learns stuns him and leaves him in a quandry. Must he choose between befriending her or the people he came to minister to?
Lizzie is also attracted to Clay, but refuses to allow herself this weakness. Until the day she shoots him! How can God work good out of this accident? Read the book and find out, and give yourself a great read in the Yukon of Alaska in the late 1890s.
How true to life is the work of the Missionary in the story A whisper of Peace.
To travel so far to reach a people for God, surely He will understand if we have to sacrifice the good of one person. What is one against the chance to win so many? For Him? And yet . . . when it comes right down to it . . . God will show us the worth of one sole is more than the whole earth. Every time.
In A Whisper of Peace, we are swept away to beautiful 1800s Alaska, "The Land of the Midnight Sun", a primitive land with it's lovely snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and salmon filled rivers; yet fraught with danger, uncivilized Indians, prejudice, and unforgiveness.
Our beautiful heroine, Lizzie, has been ostracized by her tribe, the Athabascans, because of her white father, and it is her dying mother's request for her to make peace with her Indian grandparents. Lizzie, also known as White Feather, has but one desire...to fulfill her mother's request, and leave her lonely little cabin in the wilderness and be reunited with her white father in California. She has no one for company except her dogs, until one day she meets Clay Selby and his sister, Vivian.
Clay is driven to build a mission and bring salvation to the natives in the very village Lizzie has been ostracized by; following in his father's footsteps. Vivian desires to accompany him in his ministry, hoping that by doing something good for others, it will erase the deep burden of guilt she still carries from her past. In exchange for Lizzie's help in culinary skills, Vivian seeks to help Lizzie learn how to become like the white woman, in order that she will be accepted in her father's world.
Clay is met by much opposition in the village, but is allowed to stay on the condition that he and Vivian separate company with Lizzie. Will they be able to do so, and will the stubborn Athabascans ever accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or will Clay's endeavors be fruitless? Will Vivian ever find the peace she so deeply craves and be able to forgive herself? And will Lizzie ever be accepted by her grandparents, and finally find a place to belong with them AND her father? And what of her growing attraction to Clay?
Kim Vogel Sawyer's versatility as an author truly shines in this heartwarming novel! There is just not anything she seemingly can't write about, and her research into the history of Alaska, and its customs and people is remarkable; and truly captures the reader's interest as not many novels are set in that beautiful land. Her characters were realistic, and though strong, they lacked confidence as well because of their upbringings. Her secondary characters were endearing, and there was a very strong spiritual thread throughout. A true story of love and forgiveness not to be missed!
My stack of books sat there to be read. I had chosen “A Whisper of Peace” by Kim Vogel Sawyer to be reviewed for very special reasons, but the book sat amongst the stacks of review books for quite a long time. Then the day came that I picked up, “A Whisper of Peace” and began reading from cover to cover, all 349 pages of it, and I asked myself why had I waited so long?
Clay Selby and his sister Vivian travel to Alaska as missionaries to set up a church and school among the Athabascan Indians during the gold rush. Both Clay and his sister Vivian befriend a young woman, Lizzie who has been ostracized by her tribe for having a white father.
Key points about the book are forgiveness and salvation; both are very well written into the story.
I had specifically requested to read “A Whisper of Peace” by Kim Vogel because I lived in Alaska when I was a child for several years. I also spent time with many missionaries while in Alaska as a child as well as with the Native Americans.
The only place that was recognizable in the book was Mt Denali which we called Mt. McKinley when I was a child. I really have no complaints about the book, except for more “real” Alaska. Anyone who has ever lived in Alaska, knows that its beauty is beyond all description.
Overall, this book is 5 out of 5 stars. It may be a little wordy near the end, but it is well worth reading. It is appropriate for high school girls through adults.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.
Lizzie Dawson is a young woman of mixed blood: born of a white father and a mother from a native tribe of Athabascans in the Alaskan Territory. Lizzie grew up as an outcast because the tribe had banished her mother after her marriage to a white man. When Lizzie’s father had made his fortune in trapping and fur trading, he returned to California to begin a new life, abandoning both his wife and child. After her mother died, Lizzie continued to live alone in the cabin that her father had built, completely self-sufficient in caring for herself and her sled dogs. She had dreams of fulfilling her mother’s dying request that Lizzie be reconciled with her grandparents and be accepted back into the village. A few years had passed since her mother’s death and so far she had not found a way to honor her mother’s request.
Little did Lizzie know how much her world was going to change when Clay Selby, a missionary, and his step-sister Vivian, who was a teacher, arrived in the village to set up a church and school among the Athabascans. Besides becoming friends with the people of the village, Clay and Vivian wanted to also befriend Lizzie and were puzzled as to why she was ostracized by her tribe. Clay felt led to intercede for Lizzie, but her grandfather angrily told Clay that he and Vivian would have to make a choice between friendship with Lizzie or ministering to the natives. Also, Clay was coming to realize that his interest in Lizzie was more than just seeking a casual friendship. Would he really be forced to make a choice? What did the future hold for all of them? Would the God of Clay’s faith who brought him to the Alaskan Territory supply his needs and give him guidance as he faced these challenges?
This novel written by Kim Vogel Sawyer is the first of hers that I’ve read. It was a swiftly moving story, flowing and well-written. The author took time to give depth to the characters, along with detail that kindled my imagination. I have no reservations about this book and would highly recommend it.
*This book was received free in exchange for my unbiased review through Bethany House Book Reviewers.
The first book I picked up by Kim Vogel Sawyer was My Heart Remembers. I loved it. Which is why I kept reading her books. And which is why I was a bit disappointed with her newest A Whisper of Peace.
The story is good. A story of forgiveness, and starting a mission to Alaskan Indians, and the joys and trials of life. While Lizzie is the heroine of the story, a young woman estranged from her mother's tribe, I found Vivian to be much more interesting. For Vivian, the missionary's sister, is a young woman trying to prove by whatever means she can that she is worth something. As for Clay, the missionary, I had trouble relating to him. His drive and passion are heroic, but there is no explanation of why he feels so driven.
For those who are reading Kim Vogel Sawyer for the first time, A Whisper of Peace will be a good story. But for those who have read a few of her novels before, I think you will be disappointed.
Come along with Kim Vogel Sawyer to the beautiful land of Alaska!
Well written, in Ms. Sawyer's typical fashion, the writing instantly draws one inside the story. The Alaskan setting is beautifully done, and the characters are utterly charming though flawed.
My impression of this book, is a bit mixed. I really wanted to love everything, but I personally found certain things that didn't quite work for me. This was just one of those books where the characters who like each other, tended to pop randomly into each others' heads, and there wasn't as much interaction between the Lizzie and Clay as I would have liked.
The Athabascan children Etu and Naibi were so cute! But my favorite character ended up being Vivian, Clay's step-sister, because she was in my mind the most relatable in her vulnerability, and I wished there had been more of her story in the book. Maybe Ms. Sawyer will have to write Vivian her own book :)
Overall, this book was well written and engaging, though at times I found myself wishing things would happen faster. It wasn't my favorite by Kim Vogel Sawyer, but it was pretty good. I liked the story's premise with missionaries going to teach the Athabascan people, and the theme of forgiveness, which were both well done. A great book for Ms. Sawyer's many fans. Thanks :D
Thanks to Bethany House Publishers from whom I received this book in return for an honest review.
Let me preface this by saying that I have now had the privilege of reviewing three books by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I thoroughly enjoyed In Every Heartbeat and Courting Miss Amsel . . . both were 5-star books for me. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy A Whisper of Peace as much as the others.
Siblings Clay and Vivian arrive in Alaska ready to take the gospel to the natives of a remote village. Certain that this is what God has led them to do, they move into the village and begin building a mission school. When they meet Lizzie, an outcast from the village, they must decide if they will continue to befriend her or give in to the demands of the village leaders and have no further communications with her. As they wrestle with how to handle the situation, they realize that more is at stake than their friendship with Lizzie.
Kim Vogel Sawyer does an excellent job of taking you to eighteenth-century Alaska. The way she describes some of the challenges and life in the village made me feel as though I was there. I especially thought it was funny when two children who come to live with Clay and Vivian constantly comment on how often they made them "wash up." There were a number of small details like that to let me know what life was like . . . and how it was different for Clay and Vivian.
The book was a bit slow for me . . . I just had a hard time really getting into it. After a while, I felt some connection to Vivian and Lizzie and wished that their friendship would have been more of the focus of the book. Clay seemed a bit overbearing at times and I didn't quite understand his and Lizzie's relationship. The attraction really seemed more physical than a true relationship. I think I could have gotten more into the book if the characters had a bit more depth. It seemed that they each portrayed a stereotype, and the problems they faced were handled simply.
While I love Kim Vogel Sawyer and would highly recommend her novels, this one just didn't work for me. Check out the other review online, though, as many of them were quite positive, and you might have different taste than me!
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Clay Selby and his stepsister Vivian travel to Alaska to be missionaries to the Athabaskan people and to teach them to read and write. Going into the wilds of Alaska in 1898, they both knew they would be facing great difficulties and hard work. They just never anticipated the difficult choice they would be faced with after befriending Lizzie Dawson.
Lizzie Dawson, her mother Athabascan and her father white, is strong and courageous. Having lived on her own since her mother passed away, right outside the village, Lizzie has worked toward a single purpose: gain the forgiveness of her grandmother and grandfather as her mother requested on her deathbed. Once she accomplishes this, she then plans to move to San Francisco to be with her father and try to fit into the white man's world. But when Lizzie begins to spend time with Vivian and Clay her heart betrays her with a longing to stay.
When it becomes apparent that Vivian doesn't have the skills needed to care for herself or her brother, and Lizzie isn't prepared to live in the White man's world, they devise a plan to exchange the teaching of skills. Vivian will learn skills such as trapping and cooking over an open fire and Lizzie will learn how to fit into her father's world. When the tribal leaders learn of the time they are spending together, they demand they give an oath to never see her again. Clay and Vivian are faced with the agonizing choice of saving the souls of many over saving the soul of one, even if the one is so clearly in need. As a swift and deadly illness begins to spread through the village, time begins to run out, and they will all be forced to make decisions that will change their lives forever.
This is a beautiful story of love, forgiveness and redemption. The characters in this book really captured me, I found myself rooting Clay and Vivian on and wanted to hug Lizzie. I also felt a strong empathy for Lizzie's Grandmother and the shameful secret she held onto for all those years. I had a difficult time putting this one down.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This is a really good book. Lizzie has to find her place in her world. She is really troubled by her past and hers mom's people, but if she listens to God He will guide her to the right place. This book could have went into two books. The last chapter was cut too short. What happened to her friend Vivian (Clays sister) could have been a book in itself. Otherwise a good book.
Lu'qul Gitth'ihgi, Athabascan for White Feather lives alone in a small cabin in Alaska away from her tribe that her father built for her before her mother died and he left for San Francisco. White Feather mainly goes by the name Lizzie Dawson and is outcasted by her tribe because she is part indian and part white. Since her mother died four years ago he has lived alone with her dogs and has been trying to find away to reconcile with her grandparents and bring peace between her and her tribe. Lizzie is convinced that she has finally found a gift to present to her grandmother, will this gift bring forgiveness and acceptance Lizzie needs?
Clay Selby and his step sister Vivian arrive in Gwich'in Village, from Oklahoma, to set up a mission school for the Athabascan's as a way to teach them English and share God with them. Clay is desperatley seeking to be like his father, who was a missionary to a tribe in Oklahoma, but has a lot to learn. Vivian is dealing with her own heartache that she keeps buried deep inside. She wants to prove to her brother she can live in Alaska and minister to the people.
When Clay and Vivian run into Lizzie they become very interested in her and Lizzie feels the same way. Lizzie ends up asking them to teach her in the ways of the English so she can leave one day and find her father, who said she would never fit into the english world. In exchange Lizzie teaches Vivian the ways of the Athabascans and how to cook. When the tribe tells them to have no more contact with Lizzie, what will they do? Will they be able to bring Jesus to the people?
The biggest reason I was drawn to this book was the Alaska setting and it made me fall in love with Alaska all over again. I loved reading about Lizzie hunting, and trapping and about the wildlife that resides. The book made me feel like I was right there with Lizzie, Clay and Vivian. I love it when a book has the ability to transport me to the place.
I have read many of Kim Vogel Sawyers books and this one was one her best that I have read. I highly recommend it to any one who likes historical fiction, loves Alaska and is looking for an enjoyable story with interesting characters. This is definitely a five star book!
*This book was provided to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Bethany House!
A Whisper of Peace was a pleasure to read. I enjoyed the Alaskan setting, but most of all I connected with the female characters in this novel. A Whisper of Peace revolves around the stories of a brother and sister missionary team, Clay and Vivian, and an outcast Indian woman, Lizzie Dawson. Realistic characters make it or break it for me when it comes to judging the worth of a novel, and Sawyer delivers. Each of the three main characters struggles with feelings or realities that any reader can identify with at some point. Clay is a driven and passionate young man who idolizes his father and strives relentlessly to match the level of his accomplishments- and frequently falls short. Lizzie has grown up rejected and isolated by her tribe and abandoned by her father; she is self-sufficient, but hardened, an outcast who longs for acceptance. Vivian, the most well-rounded character of the three, seeks atonement in the Alaskan wilderness for the burden of guilt that she has carried since the death of her father. Vivian struggles the most realistically with adapting (or not) to a new way of life, and with the homesickness, fatigue, and culture-shock that any missionary to a foreign field truly feels. Clay’s character is the flattest of the three, and it’s not entirely apparent where the love match between he and Lizzie comes in- apart from their mutual physical attraction (she’s beautiful, he’s the only guy around who will even talk to her). But the romance, for what it’s worth, is almost a side-note in this book. Rejection, abandonment, anxiety, broken relationship, forgiveness, reconciliation, and the Father heart of God are woven together to make up the main theme of this novel. If you’re after a great romance beware, but I recommend it to anyone who enjoys passing the day curled up with a good, uplifting book in hand.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Clay Selby and his stepsister, Vivian, are heading to Alaska to become missionaries among the Athabascans Indians. Clay is trying to be the man is father is and Vivian is trying to earn forgiveness as she blames herself for her father's death. Clay becomes so focused on getting the mission building built so they can begin the school and so that he can stand behind a pulpit and preach that he loses sight of just ministering to people. A bit of pride in the building comes into play as well. Vivian surprises herself by enjoying the people and getting to know some of the children. Most of all she feels useful when she becomes friends with a village outcast by the name of Lizzie Dawson.
Lizzie was never bothered living outside the village when she had her parents with her but now she only has herself and her dogs. She hunts, cooks and tans the hides of what she catches. Lizzie does not realize the extent of her loneliness until she meets Clay and Vivian. Lizzie's father left them when she was twelve. He went back to San Francisco but said her mother would not fit in there. When her mother became ill, Lizzie promised her she would make peace with her grandmother and than go and live with her father. Vivian and Lizzie become friends as she teaches Vivian to cook and Viv teaches Lizzie how to behave like a white woman for when she leaves.
When her grandparents find out that Vivian and Clay have befriended Lizzie, who had been excommunicated by her tribe, they must make a choice; never speak to Lizzie again or leave their village. They could not disappoint the church that sent them to the mission field but they also struggled with giving Lizzie up.
I enjoyed this book and felt the story line was unique. Kim wrote to where you it was like you were cleaning the moose pelt with Lizzie or petting her dogs. I could imagine the dogs with their tongues hanging out looking as if they were smiling at you. Clear and descriptive writing and at parts it could draw tears.
Kim Vogel Sawyer has won my loyalty as a reader with her sweeping stories of life and love in an array of settings with a variety of characters. This book is one of my favorites with the diverse characters of Clay and Vivian Selby, missionaries to Alaskan natives who have stumbled on an interesting situation. Lizzie is a native that is an outcast and lives by herself not far from the people that should be her family but won't accept her. She is outside their protection and yet her grandmother and grandfather are the leaders of the group. Her mother's dying wish was that Lizzie could repair the relationship and move on with her life. The problem is that Lizzie doesn't even know the whole reason she is an outcast. Clay and Vivian want to help restore that relationship but if they try and intercede on Lizzie behalf they may be sent away from the village for good and ruin their chances as missionaries forever. It is a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption and love under any circumstances. Another keeper from Kim Vogel Sawyer.
Set in 1898, this is the captivating story of a young woman living alone in the Alakan wilderness. Lizzie’s childhood is perfect with her Indian mother and white trapper father until he decides to return to his white family in San Francisco. Her father chooses to leave his wife and daughter behind, stating that they will not fit into the white world. The trouble is that they are already ostracized by her mother’s Indian tribe because of her white father, and therefore mother and daughter are left to provide for themselves alone in the wilderness. As long as she has her mother, Lizzie can accept her life. But then her mother dies, leaving her with no one to rely on but herself. Lizzy is very self sufficient and can care for herself quite well—she can hunt, trap, fish, harvest food, tend her sled dogs and survive just fine except for one thing—the terrible loneliness that eats at her soul day and night. Then, just when Lizzie decides to try to find her father and begin a new life for herself, two missionaries come to her mother’s village to share the gospel and accidently stumble upon Lizzie. They befriend her and her whole world begins to change.
Yes, this is a beautiful love story about two people from entirely different cultures and backgrounds but it is so much more. While the interaction between Lizzy and the young missionary is satisfying in and of itself, there is much more to the story. Watching the circumstances of Lizzy’s isolation from her people through no fault of her own, I found it very interesting to contemplate how much we all hurt each other by getting so caught up in the “race” controversy. God has never distinguished between races—man does that. In Lizzie’s story we see how judging someone just by the color of their skin causes so much hurt and division. Sensitive and well written, this story clearly demonstrates the destruction caused by racism and prompts Christians to think about treating each other the way God intended—as “one blood” (Acts 17:26).
I received this complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers for this review. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.
Lizzie's life was hard after her father left and her mother died, bust she accepted the rejection of her grandparents because she was half white and half Indian. With the arrival of missionaries, she found friendship, but will she ever find peace.
Lizzie Dawson, an Athabascan Alaskan native who had a white father, has survived on her own since her mother died. She gardens, hunts, traps, and cures hides. An outcast from the village and rejected by her grandparents, she finds companionship in her loyal sled dogs. When missionaries Clay Selby and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive to start a church and school, Lizzie thinks teaching white ways will have a negative effect on the community. Yet she feels attracted to the friendly pair, and a relationship is slowly forged. Vivian trades lessons with Lizzie, learning cooking and other skills while teaching Lizzie “to be white” so she can go live with her father in San Francisco.
When the tribal leaders forbid further contact with Lizzie, will Clay and Vivian obey? They long to see all of the people come to the Lord, including Lizzie. Can Lizzie make peace with her grandparents before she goes to find the father she hasn’t seen for years? Will Vivian be able to find peace about her father’s death and the guilt she’s carried since childhood? Can Clay live up to his missionary father’s legacy of reaching native peoples? What will happen to the sweet orphaned brother and sister they’ve befriended? The lives of all are intertwined in this endearing tale from the late 19th century.
Kim Vogel Sawyer brings history to life as she places strong characters in realistic settings and pens their experiences onto the page. Readers feel as if they’re living alongside the cast of the novel, experiencing the drama, pain, heartache, thrills, and love. This story will touch your heart.