Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future.
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Customer Reviews for Home in Drayton Valley, A - eBook
A HOME IN DRAYTON VALLEY by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wonderful Historical Fiction set in 1880 Kansas. A heart wrenching tale of tragedy,faith,and love. Tarsie Raines,her friends,Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two young children dream of a better life than the slums of New York City in Drayton Valley, Kansas. On the wagon train,tragedy strikes on the trail,a partnership is formed between Joss and Tarsie. Money is low,but Tarsie's faith will carry her through hardship,and struggles.But she also starts to question her future. The unexpected happens, Tarsie finds love with a man she never dreamed to, Joss. Fast paced and filled with adventure,tragedy,love,faith,life on a wagon train through the rough prairie lands and life in early America. Ms. Sawyer has done it again with "A Home in Drayton Valley" with her engaging characters,and intriguing plots. I would recommend this title if you enjoy American history,historical fiction,early American life and a great story than "A Home in Drayton Valley" is the story for you, you will not be disappointed. Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: SWEET REVIEWED BY: My Book Addiction Reviews
I really loved A Home In Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Set in 1880, this book takes the reader from New York City to a beautiful valley in Kansas. Tarsie Raines was a women of high morals and plenty of love to share. Joss was a man who was influenced by his own non-Christian upbringing and has to learn what it means to be a real father to his children. It was good to watch God use Simon a man of color to influenced him in so many ways. Tarsie was a wonderful example of Christian love to her friends as well as to Mary's children. The friendship between Ruth and Tarise was one of my favorite parts of the book. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book from Bethany House for my honest review.
When given the chance, I would always choose to read a Kim Vogel Sawyer book. I have loved every one that I have picked up. A Home in Drayton Valley is no exception, I loved it. Kept my attention, included lots of great history, encouraged my faith and even had a little romance to tug at my heart. Great read if you like Historical Novels.
**A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer was provided for me free by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
Tarsie Raines became friends with in ill Mary Brubacher and did what she could to doctor her. After losing her aunt Mary was the only true friend Tarsie had. Mary was married to Joss who spent most of his money in the saloons and kept just barely enough money to keep the run down apartment and enough food to feed his family which included little Emmy and Nathaniel. Not only did he squander away money drinking in the saloons, he also gambled and owed a huge debt, which was about to come due or he would probably lose his life.
Dreams of going to Drayton Valley, KS were always in Tarsie's mind and she shared the book about Drayton Valley with Mary. Mary knew that she didn't have much time left in this world so she managed to talk Joss, who really did love Mary but was unhappy that they had children, to move the family to Kansas and she included Tarsie. Joss was not happy about Tarsie going along but he would do anything to please Mary and since he didn't have the money to pay his gambling debt he knew he had to get out of New York and fast, so it didn't take a lot of convincing from Mary.
The five of them take the train to Des Moines, IA, then have to take a wagon to Drayton Valley. The only wagon train that is leaving immediately is an all black wagon train and Joss, thanks to his drunk of a father detests blacks. But, he knows he needs to move on and Mary's health is deteriorating so he agrees to go. He refuses to camp in the circle with the rest of the wagons and doesn't even associate with them.
When they arrive at the Missouri River where they would cross to go through White Cloud, Mary was so weak Joss had to lift her out of the wagon and carry her to the banks so she could see Kansas. Mary's prayers were answered, she'd seen Kansas, the place she wanted Joss to live and raise Emmy and Natty. As they were waiting to cross the river, Joss went to see if they could cross first so they could go find a doctor and Mary drew her last breath after asking Tarsie to promise to marry Joss, bring him to God and to raise her children.
Joss reluctantly agrees to marry Tarsie, so he goes to town to find a preacher, when he returns they are married. When they arrive to Drayton Valley, Joss locates a small house for them to live in and gets a job doing dock work. Joss refuses to spend nights in the house and plans on leaving Tarsie and the kids for Chicago after he gets enough money saved up to sustain them for 3 months.
When the dock breaks loose and floats down the river Joss finds himself without a job so he goes looking at the vineyard outside the other side of town. He gets the job but the foreman is a black man, now he's even more determined to get out of Drayton Valley. When he eventually moves to the vineyard, avoiding Tarsie and his children Tarsie takes the first chance she gets to leave town forcing Joss to raise his own children. Soon Joss finds himself in jail and Tarsie is picked up by a couple of thieves and is forced to pretend to be married to one of them. With them being separated and in different towns, oh yes, and not really married, will Tarsie fulfill Mary's last request? How will Joss handle working for a black person, being in jail, and who's going to raise his children just when he was getting close to them and learning how to be a papa to them?
The faith Mary had that her plan would be carried out was very touching and as you read this book you'll find yourself wondering if it's going to happen. Do you think when you make a promise to someone who is dying that you have to carry it out no matter what? Is it right to promise a dying person something, knowing you possibly/probably can't keep that promise, just so they can die in peace 'knowing' in their mind that you would never break a promise to them? If you break that promise is it the same as lying to them?
The book was a pretty good read and I would probably choose it again. I can recommend it to others that like books set in pioneer times.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing me this book to 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
It opens with Mary being sick, and Tarsie thinks the only way she could possibly get better is by getting out of the city. But Joss is against the idea. He doesn't want to leave the city and life he knows, until one day he finds himself backed into a corner and the only way he can get out, is by heading to Kansas with his family...and Tarsie. Tarsie would never of guessed that her friend and confidant would die before they reached Kansas, the place that they thought would be a new beginning for all of them...together. But will Mary's last dying request put Tarsie in an awkward situation? Will she be able to fulfill it? This was a good book, I think it's a fun read, that you can pick up on one of those lazy rainy afternoons. Kim always has a way of doing these period pieces with such fun and interesting twist and turns in the plot. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to sign up to read this book and give my honest opinion about it, I had a great afternoon!
I have read and enjoyed many of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books over the years, and they just seem to get better and better.
Twelve years ago, Tarsie Raines along with her Great Aunt Vangie arrived in New York from Ireland to start a better life. It is now 1880; the only family she has is her best friend Mary Brubacher and her children. And then there is Mary's husband Joss, whose drinking and gambling prevents him from being the husband and father he has the potential to be. Mary's health is failing and Tarsie helps take care of her and the kids, when she isn't busy working as a seamstress.
When Tarsie discovers a copy of James Redpath's Handbook of Kansas on a New York street she picks it up and begins to dream of a different life for herself and Mary's family in Drayton Valley. Joss doesn't care for the idea at all, but when his gambling debts come due, he changes his tune in a hurry.
They travel by train to Des Moines, Iowa, and than by wagon, heading to the state of Kansas. Joss's rough edges begin to be shaved away throughout their journey, beginning with the decision to join a wagon train in which the wagon master and the others in the train were black. It is during this time that the reader sees glimpses of the kinder, gentler Joss. But as they continue their journey to Drayton Valley, Mary's health deteriorates, and before Mary dies, Tarsie promises to care for her children and help Joss find faith in the Lord.
Their arrival in Kansas wasn't actually what they expected and Joss's search for work is difficult. Eventually, he finds a job working at a vineyard for Simon Foster, a black Christian.
As Tarsie tries to keep Joss from returning to his sinful ways, she realizes that she is falling in love with him. I love the way that Kim is able to bring her characters to life. Her ability to write an enduring story with such memorable characters and how she walks them through their trials to a relationship with Christ is amazing.
Even though I have read the final page and have closed the cover, the characters will live on in my imagination. I loved both Simon and Ruth Foster and would love to read more about them and have a peek into Joss and Tarsie's life further into their future, but if there is never another word written about these characters the enjoyment of the book will be enough.
**A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer was provided for me free by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
Marriage of convenience stories can hold some of the best conflict in this reader’s opinion and this latest historical in “A Home in Drayton Valley” certainly has much conflict and reader likeability going for it.
I honestly wasn’t sure about Joss for the first half of the novel. It’s obvious from the start he’s going to be our hero, but a hero that drinks and carouses and is a general no-good? Hmm. But in faith, I kept reading. Believe it or not, the character that is his own worst villain becomes a down-right likable character.
Several times in this novel are not easy journeys for characters or reader alike. Emotions run deep. Tarsie is so determined to win this man back to Christ, a final request from her dying best friend. She never expected to fall in love with him after she married him.
There is a great moment in the book where Joss has deceived Tarsie and comes to feel great remorse for this action. The dialogue and moments of character growth made the entire book. I loved it.
Great secondary characters and setting, the only thing I waited to have resolved was Joss’s gambling debts he left behind in Chicago, I expected those to haunt him, but was also a bit glad they didn’t. (wink).
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher need to escape the terrible conditions of living in the tenements of New York City circa 1880. Tarsie dreams of heading west by wagon train and convinces her friends to join her in search of a better life in Kansas. Tragedy strikes along the way and difficult decisions have to be made. Hard lessons are learned about life, family, and faith.
I liked this book and appreciated the way the author dealt with the issue of racism. I found the plot a little thin at times and slightly unbelievable, but overall the story was good. It was a clean and enjoyable read.
Please note: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for my honest review.
Another reviewer has said, "Sawyer treats readers to love stories that speak to the heart." I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment . . . and it perfectly describes A Home in Drayton Valley!
From the very beginning of the story, I fell in love with Mary and with Tarsie, but not so much with Joss. In fact, there were times I even hoped the fates of the individual characters would turn out differently than they did. But as the story progressed, Kim carefully crafted the plot in such an engaging way that I was caught up in longing for the best for each person as they learned lessons about life and love and God's directions.
The harsh realities of life sometimes brought a tear to my eyes, and the sweet pleasures brought a smile to my lips. Whatever turns the story took, my heart was touched, and I wasn't really ready to end this journey with the new friends I made along the way.
The last few times I've read a book by Kim Vogel Sawyer, I've thought, "but she still hasn't topped In Every Heartbeat." Now . . . well, I'm not sure I'm ready to make a call on that one. Something I am sure of is that I highly recommend A Home in Drayton Valley.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
Kim Vogel Sawyer sets her story in the 1800's and an weaves an accurate portrayal of Pioneer Life. I have read other books by Kim Vogel Sawyer and love her way with words; she truly is a beautiful writer. The story is about three friends who leave New York and head for Kansas via Wagon Train; not just any Wagon Train but one that carried black families. The plot surrounds a young woman named Tarsie who promises her best friend to care for her children and husband as her friend battles cancer. The characters were rich and developed and the struggle of prejudice is woven throughout the story. This was a book I didn't want to put down; Kim has become one of my favorite authors. There are many scriptural lessons in this book and ones that can relate to life today. You won't be disappointed by this book; if you haven't read any of Kim's books, be on the lookout for them-she is a great writer.
I would like to say Thank You to Bethany House Publishers for sending me this book to review. I received no compensation for it and was asked to review it, whether my feelings were positive or negative.
If you’re a regular reader of my book reviews, you’ll know that Kim is one of my favorite authors. Her style is relaxed and natural, and every story evokes emotion (I usually cry somewhere in every one of her books)!
As I said, Kim’s style is relaxed and natural. I don’t find her stories overly exciting or surprising (no big twists and turns or mysteries) - but that’s not a bad thing.
Instead of heart pounding page turning, Kim’s writing just gives me sweet satisfaction as the story takes place. From the very first pages, I am always drawn right into the story, easily relating to the characters and making me feel like I’m reading about friends.
I was able to review A Home in Drayton Valley, courtesy of Bethany Book Reviewers, and it was just what I expected from Kim: a sweetly satisfying story!
Joss and Mary Brubacher are struggling in NYC - physically, financially, and spiritually. When a way is made for them to travel west, Joss packs up his family and reluctantly includes his wife’s friend, Tarsie.
On the journey, Tarsie does her best to nurse Mary, as well as tend to the Brubacher’s young children. However, the unthinkable still occurs, but not before Mary elicits a serious promise from Tarsie. A promise that Joss doesn’t really care about. All he really cares about is himself.
Enter Simon...and Ruth (loved them)!
You’ll have to read the rest! ;-)
If you’ve read and enjoyed Janette Oke, you will love A Home in Drayton Valley - and any of Kim’s other books.
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. acookingbookworm DOT com*
I really enjoyed this book, the characters were multi-dimensional, my favorite characters were Tarsie, Joss, Simon and Ruth. This story delves into many topics, marriage, prejudice, and prohibition, just to name a few. The best part of this book is seeing characters soften and change as you see God working in their lives.
Disclaimer: Bethany House provided me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are solely mine.
This latest book by Kim Vogel Sawyer begins with a journey of two ladies, Mary and an Irish lady named Tarsie and their journey to Kansas. Both ladies are living in extremely poor conditions in New York City. Mary has a gambling, drinking, husband, Joss, and two children, while Tarsie is single. Mary wants a better life for her children and far away from all the craziness in New York. There is trials, troubles, hardships, death and unexpected twists on this journey.
Then along comes Simon and his wife, Ruth, a Christian couple that loves the Lord thru all their trials. I could really give more details on this story, but this is one you need to read yourself.
I so loved this book and the characters in the book. It is a simple book, well written and very Christian. I love the interaction between the characters and how the book shows me God waiting on me… Be still and wait. Get a copy of this book and read it. It is well work buying.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a novel of one family and their friend leaving their dreary life as the poorest of the poor in New York City in 1880 and going into the wilds of Kansas. Tarsie Raines who is the very dear friend of Mary Brubacher leave for Kansas along with Mary’s alcoholic husband Joss and her two children. Mary is dying of cancer which she is keeping quiet from everyone in hopes of getting her family to Kansas and away from Joss’s addiction to alcohol. Along the way when she finds that she will not make it to Kansas she makes Tarsie promise to take care of her family. This is a good story combining the difficulties of settling Kansas in the 1880’s along with having the same problems that people have today of accepting God’s grace and curing addiction. This family has the additional problems of grinding poverty with no welfare system to pull them through. These people must pull together and work hard in order to survive. This story can safely be read by any age group, young girls to older women will enjoy it. This book was provided by Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group for this review.