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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Through Rushing Water

Thomas Nelson Through Rushing Water

Elegant and educated, Sophia Makinoff is sure that 1876 is the year she'll wed congressman Rexford Montgomery. But he proposes to her roommate instead! Humiliated, Sophia signs on with a foreign missions society to go to China---but ends up with the Dakota Territory Indians. Can she find a purpose in God's plan? Includes reading guide. 352 pages, softcover from Nelson.
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Customer Reviews for Through Rushing Water
Review 1 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not My Normal Reading, But Still Enjoyable

Date:December 1, 2012
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StoryGirl
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
One thing I really liked about this book was simply that Sophia was Russian; I haven’t come across very many books with a heroine of that heritage, and I quite liked her unusual, globe-trotting background.
So many of the things in this book made me so mad- the way the government was treating these Indians were just- ugh! I wanted to go in there and do something myself. Though the plot was not one that I am normally attracted to or would really want to read, I still ended up enjoying it. However, I felt like I didn't really get to "know" the characters as much as I'd have liked to. I also found that the last few chapters lagged a little bit, and it took me awhile to get used to the very new setting that they introduced the reader to. After being out in the wilderness for a year with Sophia, suddenly coming back to civilization with her was a little difficult!
If you’re interested in the history of American Indians and the American West, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy this this novel.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 2 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:November 27, 2012
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Amy C
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A reminder of what is more important in life and not the material things.
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Review 3 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Classic Historical Romance

Date:November 1, 2012
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Robin Wallace
Location:Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Through Rushing Water
Catherine Richmond
Book Summary: Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory. Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim. With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve. It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
Review: I really enjoyed the vivid picture that Catherine Richmond paints with her words. The characters were well developed and the storyline was very engrossing. It was an adventure just getting to the reservation. I enjoyed the interplay between all of the characters. It was an extremely realistic plot and kept me turn the pages to the end. I was very interested in the Poncas and how they assimilated into the white man’s world. It was a well flushed historic book and a treat to read.
I would like to thank Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
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Review 4 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a well researched book and is broadly based on tru

Date:October 16, 2012
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simplysusan
Location:central Texas
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Through Rushing Water is the first book by Catherine Richmond that I have read, but it won’t be the last. Through Rushing Water is beautifully written. For the review, I had scheduled to read chucks of this book through out a week. To say the least, that schedule was an epic fail. I stayed up to nearly three a.m. on two different nights simply because I was so drawn into the story that I could not put it down. This is not something I do regularly, so that really tells you how much I enjoyed the story.
I was easily drawn to Sophia’s character. The way she was spurned by the man she thought she was going to marry made her very sympathetic. Her decision to become a missionary seemed to go against what I saw her character being. It wasn’t her becoming a missionary so much as that it was such a spur-of-the-moment decision, which I thought went against the traits we had come to know about her from earlier in the book. I saw Sophia as being more in control and even keeled. But that decision sets the course for the resplendent story to come. I relished watching Sophia’s faith grow and how God took her spur-of-the-moment decision and molded it for His glory. Sophia’s romance with Will is sweet and satisfying. I was enchanted by their sweet romance set against such a stark and tragic background.
While Sophia and Will were an integral part of the story, it was the Ponca people that kept me engaged. I became so invested in their fate that I simply could not put the book down. I was really struck by how much we take for granted today. The absolute poverty and the abysmal treatment of the Ponca Indians was disheartening. This treatment of the American Indians is a shameful chapter of our country’s past.
Through Rushing Water is a well researched book and is broadly based on true events, which are explained in the Author’s Note at the end of the book. I’m a history junkie and am drawn to books that are true to history and life. Nothing frustrates me more than reading an historical novel filled with inaccuracies. I didn’t find that with this book. Richmond has done and admirable job with Through Rushing Water . She has woven a beautiful romantic tale, while still staying true to the tragic facts of the dismal treatment of the Ponca people. Richmond now has a new fan, and I look forward to reading more from her. I simply cannot recommend Through Rushing Water highly enough!
NOTICE:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 5 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Historical Fiction at its Best

Date:September 23, 2012
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Iola
Location:New Zealand
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When twenty-eight year old Sophia Makinoff doesn’t receive the marriage proposal she expected, she volunteers as a teacher for the Board of Foreign Missions, expecting to be sent to China. Instead, she is assigned to the Ponca Agency in the Dakota Territory, where she finds extremely primitive conditions and her fellow workers: James Lawrence, the agent, Henry Granville, the minister, Nettie, Henry’s mother, and Willoughby Dunn, the Agency carpenter.
Despite first impressions of Sophia as an educated lady and social climber, we gradually get to know her as the daughter of a Russian Army officer who escaped from Russia with nothing, and has lived in surroundings both palatial and extremely basic. She draws on her many experiences befriend the Ponco people, and works hard to help them as outside forces threaten the Ponco way of life.
Neither James nor Henry have positive feelings towards the local people, and the Army officers who occasionally visit are even less polite. Nettie is such a likeable and matter of fact character that it is hard to believe she is the mother of Henry, a self-righteous 'ninny' (as Sophia describes him). Will, a strong Christian even though not serving specifically as a missionary, has befriended the local people and teaches Sophia a lot about their culture.
Overall, this is an excellent novel. The characters are real, with real hopes, fears and dreams. They are placed in difficult circumstances, and lean on their Christian faith to get through. They make mistakes as they learn and change. And there is a lovely romance element.
Through Rushing Waters is broadly based on true events, and has been meticulously researched. There is a note at the end of the book in which the author explains which characters what aspects of the plot are based on fact, and this is enlightening. To modern readers, parts of the story (and aspects of the character’s personalities) seem racist and repugnant: not only were the Ponco not American citizens, they were not even considered human in the eyes of the law. I really enjoy historical fiction where I feel I have actually learnt something of history.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze® for providing a free ebook for review.
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Review 6 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Satisfying Read

Date:September 22, 2012
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Teresa
Location:Milwaukee, Wi
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
For me this book wasn't I can't wait to get back to reading it, but held my interest when I did read it. I have read many books that occur in this place and time and I was not familiar with the Ponca Indian tribe. I did enjoy the
character Sophia and her wit, humor, and determination.
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Review 7 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A MUST READ!!!

Date:September 18, 2012
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tweezle
Location:PA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Through Rushing Water" is a well written and emotionally charged historical novel that is sure to hold the reader's interest from beginning to end. The characters are wonderfully portrayed and so very realistic and will capture your heart as they take you through the time when the US government treated Indians shamefully - something that's not usually found in a piece of historical fiction!
This novel focuses on the Ponca Indians in the Dakota Territory and how they were treated. When Sophia Makinoff is sent there as a missionary, she was just biding time until she would transfer to the Far East. She had no idea that her destiny held something that would challenge and change her and yet give her a wonderful gift of purpose and happiness. One of my favorite characters, Sophia is one of those that is sure to stick with me for a long time.
Make sure to add this book to you must reads list, as it truly is one you MUST read!! This one comes highly recommended!
I received this book through the Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.
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Review 8 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

awesome book

Date:September 6, 2012
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tigers fan
Location:hudsonville, michigan
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book was very enjoyable. This is the first book I have read from this particular author so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely read more books from her.
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Review 9 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Far from a conventional historical romance

Date:August 15, 2012
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Rachel Ropper
Location:Scotland, UK
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
GENRE: HISTORICAL ROMANCE
PUBLISHER: THOMAS NELSON
PUBLICATION DATE: JULY 03, 2012
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 - NEAR PERFECT
PROS: Great spiritual message about relying on God's direction and guidance; unconventional non-American heroine; realistic plot progression and conclusion; well-researched historical details about the Poncas
CONS: None!
Sophia Makinoff thought she had her entire life planned out. She was to marry a congressman and become a woman of substantial influence in the political world - that is, until the congressman in question decided that her roommate would make a better wife than Sophia. Humiliated, Sophia takes the first opportunity she has and escapes the women's college where she used to teach, signing up to become a missionary. But although the life of a missionary appealed to her, Sophia imagined that she would be spending her time witnessing to natives in China, not teaching the poverty-stricken children of the Ponca tribe in Nebraska. The way her students live couldn't be further from what Sophia experienced as a child, growing up amongst nobility in Russia. The other agency workers are reticent to Sophia, both because she wasn't born on American soil and because her Orthodox Christian beliefs confuse them. Sophia doesn't see how she's ever going to adapt to life with the Poncas, but as she becomes aware of how much her students need and how little the government provides them with, she uses the links and influence from her previous lifestyle to aid the Agency's work. But no amount of letter-writing can stop the government from moving the Poncas away from their homeland to Indian Territory. Sophia and the other agency workers fight to stop this move from occurring, but only Sophia and Will, the agency carpenter, truly know the full affects of such a decision. Will is the only employee who has learned the Ponca's language and understands when Sophia needs to bend the Agency's rules to suit the needs of her students. But it seems that all of their efforts will have been in vain, if the Poncas are forced from their homes. Will this also mean the end for Sophia and Will's relationship, if they no longer have their common cause to unite them?
Although I had my issues with the structuring of Catherine Richmond's debut novel, Spring for Susannah, her writing showed a lot of originality and promise, which prompted me to add Through Rushing Water to my wishlist as soon as I heard about it. I was a little cautious at approaching Through Rushing Water, in case the book didn't live up to its absolutely stunning cover, but thankfully this novel far surpassed my expectations. The little quirks that made Spring for Susannah so unique have come into their fullness in Catherine's second novel, proving that new and innovative books can still come out of the Christian historical fiction genre.
One of the things that can grate me about any novel that deals with racism or the treatment of minority groups is the sheer improbability that the average white American in any given time period just happens to have not bought into the racial stereotypes of their peers. What are the chances, honestly, that the daughter of a prosperous splantation owner in Texas in 1850 just happens to be a militant abolitionist? Through Rushing Water, thankfully, avoids this problem by making Sophia an outsider to the issue of Christianising and relocating Indian groups. Although Sophia has lived in the United States for several years and taught at a women's college in New York, she was brought up in Russia and also spent part of her life in France. She's familiar with other cultures and races, and this allows her to see the treatment of the Poncas from a different angle from those she works with. While I was initially surprised that Catherine had chosen a non-American heroine for her novel, it was a pleasant surprise, especially to a reader who is also an outsider to American culture. Sophia's background and experiences of other cultures brought an angle to Through Rushing Water that just couldn't have been explored with an American heroine without seeming too forced or modernised, and I commend Catherine for taking a step outside the traditional comfort zones of Christian fiction to choose a non-American heroine.
As I mentioned previously, my biggest struggle with Spring for Susannah was the unconventional pacing of the novel. When I reached the three-quarters mark in Through Rushing Water and realised that Sophia's time with the Poncas was coming to an end, I did wonder if this chance of pace and location was going to affect my rating of this book. But what I expected to be a flaw in this novel actually ended up making it more realistic. Anyone who has studied this period of history knows that Sophia couldn't have saved the Poncas from being relocated to Indian Territory, and her move to the city of Omaha actually brought a lot of contextualisation into the story. Sophia's encounters with her new friends and neighbours made her realise how little the people of Nebraska knew about the local tribes and she was able to use her experiences as an opportunity to educate those who had bought into stereotypes about "wild Indians". As much as I love a neatly tied-up happy ending, I felt that the end of Through Rushing Water was optimistic yet realistic in the way it was left open, with the hope that Sophia might still be able to help the Poncas while living in Omaha.
The final quarter of the novel also allows Sophia's relationship with Will to develop. Some readers may be disappointed that the hero and heroine found little time to profess their love for each other while working among the Poncas, but again, this is probably quite understandable, given the stressful conditions under which they were living and working. Towards the end of the book, we get the chance to see their relationship blossom under different circumstances, and Sophia and Will realise the false nature of the assumptions they had made about each other when they first met. Their romance is sweet, but not the main focus of the novel. That said, I did love the epilogue, which not only gives hope for the Ponca tribe but also for Sophia and Will's relationship. Some epilogues can come across as cheesy in the way that they skip forward a few years to prove that the hero and heroine are still happy, but Through Rushing Water managed to avoid this while still being optimistic.
Through Rushing Water is far from being a conventional historical romance, considering the Russian heroine, unusual plot progression and focus on historical details over romantic intrigue. I encourage potential readers to not be put off by these quirks that so endeared Through Rushing Water to me, and to take a chance on a budding author who I hope will continue to bring something original to this popular genre.
Review title provided by Thomas Nelson.
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Review 10 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Romance & Excitement Against Stealing Indian Land

Date:August 11, 2012
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Catherine Richmond in her new book, “Through Rushing Water” published by Thomas Nelson takes us to the Dakota Territory in 1876.
From the back cover: Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.
Sophia Makinoff is certain 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.
With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.
It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When US policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
Sophia Makinoff, of Russian descent, grew up in America and became a teacher. When her dreams of marriage are shattered she signs up for missions work and is sent to the Dakota Territory. As she teaches the Ponca tribe children she falls in love with them and sees their need. Sophia teams up with Willoughby Dunn to stop the stealing of their land. Together these two make a stand through rushing water standing on the Rock of God. This is an exciting story even though there are no runaway stage coaches, no train robberies or take overs of the town by evil gunmen. Just one couple against evil men who want to steal the Indian land and force them to march hundreds of miles in the dead of winter. Ms. Richmond gives us wonderful characters that we care for and root for and shows us a dark period in American history. This is a wonderful read and I recommend it highly. Looking forward to more from Catherine Richmond
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 11 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

good historical novel

Date:July 28, 2012
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Michelle Sutton
Location:Arizona
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Through Rushing Water is an eye-opening novel about the hardships suffered by the Indians back in the 1800s and specifically the Ponca Nation. I enjoyed reading about the firt impression that the people had regarding Sophia, the heroine, and how over time she changed their opinion of her. The things the tribe and the people working with the trible suffered were horrible, and yet they hung in there and kept pressing on. I loved how the author showed the blessing that came from helping the helpless and based on what the tribe had to work with, which was very little, they really were in a lose-lose situation. The fact that they were moved off their land and so many died is heart breaking as well.
This gripping saga of suffering and hidden blessings found in the midst of incredible trials is not a story for wimps, that's for sure. I loved how the title fit the one thing that helped Sophia to cope with the toughest situations, which was to "ignore the rushing water." That was the only way she could focus on the critical needs and not feel like she was drowning from the many things she couldn't do anything about. She could serve the person in front of her. That was a great analogy and one I'll remember when I feel overwhelmed.
Though I have to say I grew frustrated with Will and Sophia's lack of communication about their feelings and the many assumptions they made along the way that weren't true. I was rooting for them and wondering if they'd ever make that heart connection that would lead to marriage. While the delay was enough to make me pull my hair out in anticipation, it was a satisfying ending. The book seemed a tad long to me in that the resolution was long in coming, but overall it was a good read and I enjoyed it a lot.
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Review 12 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Blessings In Disguise

Date:July 16, 2012
Customer Avatar
MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I so enjoyed Catherine Richmond's Spring for Susannah that I really wanted to read her next book...and it does not disappoint!
We begin with Sophia Makinoff teaching at girls college, and convinced she is about to marry a new Congressman. When things don't turn out as planned she attends a Missionary Meeting and immediately signs up...thinking she is going to China. Again things don't turn out as she has planned and we find her in South Dakota at Ponca Indian Agency where she will teach. What turns out for her to be a disappointment soon turns into a blessing.
Willoughby Dunn or Will [the carpenter] Nettie and Henry Granville[Mom and son [Rev] and James Lawrence[the Indian Agent]. These are the people that Sophia will be spending her time with, along with the Indian children and adults.
Will turns out to be such a blessing...he turns discards into something usable...like a dipper for the children to drink their water from using tin cans. Nettie does the cooking, and becomes a dear friend to Sophia.
Unfortunately the story is based on actual fact...and I find it heartbreaking.
Come along and experience some of the History in the making of our Country, you will easily get lost in this book. We may not agree with what happens to these innocent people, but it brings to light the facts.
I received this book through Netgalley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 13 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent Historical Detail

Date:July 15, 2012
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Faye
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Hearts open and are challenged on the Dakota prairie.
Sophia leaves her job as teacher at Vassar, to serve as a missionary to the Poncas. Sophia soon finds herself facing almost overwhelming challenges, as her heart opens to the Ponca people.
And then there is Will, the quiet carpenter, who has a gentle spirit and has a genuine love for the Ponca people.
A tale of a labor of love, and fighting for what is right.
What a memorable read! I loved the natural progression of the relationships in this book and how this book focused more on the historical than the romance of the story. It really took me into the heart of the situation with the Poncas and their struggles with the Indian agents, and the missions. I loved how well developed all of the characters were even the smaller characters where thoroughly developed. The characters of the Poncas were well done as well. Also I never got the feeling in this book that all white people are evil or that the white people did everything right or wrong, I felt that this book authentically portrayed both sides of the struggle and how the main problems came from people thousands of miles away who know nothing of what was really going on.
Sophia was an excellent main character, who felt very real and likable at the same time. Will was just amazing, and he just kept getting better all the time! Nettie, the preacher's mother was a real gem and was the sweetest lady, even though her son was to say the least not very sympathetic to the Ponca's plight. The young Ponca children that Sophia taught were well developed as well, some were super cute, and others were older and deeper.
While this was more of a historical novel than I was expecting, I ended up totally loving it. Definitely deserving of 5 stars, with amazing characters and a sort of absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder kinda of love story. I will definitely be reading Catherine Richmond's next book after this!
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thanks!
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Review 14 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Book with a great lesson!

Date:July 11, 2012
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BrandtBookTree
Location:Manitoba, Canada
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
BOOK DESCRIPTION:
Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.
Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.
With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.
It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
MY THOUGHTS
This is the second book I have read from Catherine Richmond. I love that her books are easy to read. Even though they are easy to read, there is a lesson for everyone in each of her books. Through Rushing Water is no different.
How often have we prayed to God, deliberately asking for a certain thing to happen in our lives, only to have God point us in a very different direction? The main character in this story, Sophia, prays that God will send her to China to be a missionary. Instead she gets sent to the furthest place from China she could get. She finds out through the book, that perhaps God knew what he was doing! An amazing thought, huh. I think we can learn a very important lesson from this story - what we think is best, is not always in God's plan for us.
If you are looking for a great read, this book is for you.
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Review 15 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Stunning Novel that Made Me Think

Date:July 10, 2012
I've been looking forward to reading the next book by Catherine Richmond since I turned the last page in Spring for Susannah. Through Rushing Water did not disappoint!
Certain that she will soon become the wife of a US Congressman, Sophia Mackinoff is shocked when he proposes to her flighty roommate instead. Embarrassed, she jumps at the opportunity to sign up with the Board of Foreign Missions. Her first assignment—not quite what she hoped for—takes her to the Dakota Territory to teach the children of the Ponca Indian Agency. The longer she stays, the more Sophia can't believe the horrible living conditions the Ponca must endure. She and Will Dunn, the Agency carpenter, find themselves on the same side in a fight against the US government on behalf of the Ponca people.
Wow . . . just wow! Catherine's writing style is simply beautiful. The way she paints pictures with her words made me feel as though I was in the middle of each scene. She made the Dakota Territory and the plight of the Ponca Indians come alive for me. The masterful characterization of Sophia and Will and the other Agency workers drew me in as well. The more I got to know her, the more I liked Sophia. She grew so much as a person—spiritually and in maturity—and I felt the many emotions she experienced throughout the book. Will is another strong hero (much like Jesse from Spring for Susannah), and I loved the way he demonstrated and talked about his faith.
Catherine also told the story of the Ponca and how the US government treated them (and other Indian tribes) in such a way that my heart was literally gripped by the truth of what happened to real people (not just the fictitious characters in this book). It's hard to imagine that people can treat others so horribly, but it's a good reminder to fight against racism and open your heart to people of other cultures and races. Unfortunately, this type of thing still continues today around the world.
Catherine Richmond has delivered another stunning novel—one I will not soon forget. [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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Review 16 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

THROUGH RUSHING WATER - A must read!

Date:July 6, 2012
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Its About Time Mamaw
Location:Houston, Texas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
In 1876 Sophia Makinoff is teaching at a college and is soon to be engaged to a U.S.Congressman. To be the wife or even fiancee was just a fabrication of her own making. Congressman Montgomery chose her roommate and friend instead of her. Annabelle a complete and utter mistake for the wife to a U.S.Congressman when everyone knew Sophia would have been the best choice. How would she face her students and faculty? She was utterly humiliated.
She decides to volunteer to be a missionary in the far east. But instead she is assigned as teacher to the children of Ponca Indian Agency in the Dakota Territory. She had every intention in requesting to be re-assigned to the far east rather than stay in Dakota Territory. It does not take long for her to fall in love with the Ponca Indians especially the children she is teaching. She knew this was the mission God had meant for her to serve.
Willoughby Dunn was the agency carpenter and also loved the Poncas. He had appointed himself as protector to the new school teacher and was at her beck and call. She tried to ignore his her new shadow but soon she felt her heart warming to this special man. It was Sophia's job to teach the children about the white man's world and ways. And it was Will's job to teach the men to build houses, barns and many other things that were needed to live in a white man's world. But all of this was almost impossible to do without the clothing, blankets, supplies, tools, rations and money. These were things the government had promised the Poncas. On top of that they had no way to defend themselves from other tribes attacking them.
Sophia and Will worked hard to get what was absolutely necessary for survival for the Poncas to get through the bitter cold winter, sickness and near starvation. They refused to give up on their mission.
This is a heart wrenching story of neglect and abuse against the Ponca Agency. The author was very thorough in her description of the conditions and neglect the Poncas were forced to endure. The author provides many facts of this historical event.
If you are more interested do a search for the Poncas Agency in the Dakota Territory. Here is a link if you want to learn more. White Eagle was the hereditary chief of the Poncas when they came to Indian Territory in 1877. As chief, he led the Poncas in their last war against the Sioux before they left Dakota Territory and Nebraska. He was also the medicine man and religious advisor. White eagle led the "hot country" Poncas, those who chose to remain in Indian Territory, for 50 years.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
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Review 17 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An eye opener into how the Indians were treated

Date:July 3, 2012
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wfnren
Location:St Cloud, FL
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Sophia Makinoff is positive Congressman Montgomery is going to propose to her today. He has arrived at the school where she teaches so she is hurrying to get downstairs to him as all of the students and other teachers are watching. Much to her disappointment, as she nears her destination, he is announcing his engagement to her roommate. She can't stay at school now to face the humiliation so she signs up with the board of Foreign Missions so she can serve in the Far East, like China. Sophia is in for another disappointment when she is assigned to the Ponca Indian Agency in Dakota Territory.
She finally reaches her assignment after a long, fearful trip and teams up with Reverend Henry Granville, his mother Nettie, James Lawrence the government agent and Will Dunn the carpenter. This is the team that is supposed to teach the Ponca Indians to be American. The government is supposed to by paying the Poncas for their land and supplying them with supplies and tools to build homes, plant crops, and educate them. The government is failing to do their part but the Poncas are learning, doing their part. They trust the government until so many promises fall through they are losing their faith in them but with the help of the team their faith in God is getting stronger.
Dakota Territory was not Sophia's choice but she is soon fighting for them. Sophia takes it upon herself to write letters to friends, the school she taught at and her old church for donations so the people will have shoes, socks, clothes and learning materials. She also writes the government letters telling them how they are failing the Poncas.
The letters did more harm than good, it seems she'll have to move on after falling in love with what she's doing and the people she came to help, without completely finishing her job. The whole team is moving on, thanks to the very grumpy Reverend, Sophia has a new job to go to, but her fight for the Poncas doesn't end there. You will have to read the book to get the real story, sad as it is, and how she continues to help them after leaving.
Catherine wrote a story that lets you know how badly the white people, our government, treated the Indians who they promised to pay for their land but fell down so badly on their part. You get a whole new outlook from this perspective. I'm not much of a history person, and I won't say this came as a shock to me, but it does make you stop and think how could anyone treat another human being the way our government treated them.
I enjoyed this book even more because it takes place in areas that I'm familiar with, the Black Hills was a favorite vacation spot of my step-dad's when I was younger. She talks about the Yankton, SD, Sioux City, IA and Omaha, NE as well as the newspapers from those areas, the same one's we have there today. I was raised there so it brought this closer to home for me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 18 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great historical fiction

Date:July 2, 2012
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Cheryl
Location:Prospect,KY
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Sophia Makinoff has the perfect teaching job and dreams to match. She is certain to become the wife of Congressman Montgomery. Her world crashes around her when the Congressman proposes—to her roommate. Unable to bear what she knows will be (the pity of her acquaintances and Annabelle’s prattling about the wedding she thought would be hers), Sophia signs up with the Foreign Mission Board to be a missionary to China. In order to escape, she takes the first available position and begins her journey to teach in the Dakota Territory—not exactly China! Her charge is to teach and bring Christianity to the Ponca Indians and others are already in place to “Americanize” the Indians and make them into farmers. When she arrives at her destination, there was no one to greet her and the landscape showed little but a few run-down buildings and sparse vegetable gardens. How soon could a replacement be found? Sophia isn’t certain this is the place for her. Is there anything that might keep her here?
But the Ponca Indian children and their families begin to pull at her heartstrings. Their need for the basic necessities of clothing and food is so great and the government doesn’t deliver anything they promised. Combine the children with the local Agency carpenter, Will, and perhaps Sophia can stick around and pour her life into making a difference here. Will teaches her to “ignore the rushing water” that could completely suck her in because there are so many needs and simply focus on the issues that she can change and improve. Could there be a lesson in that for me? I think so!
Author Catherine Richmond does an excellent job capturing the time period and forms a story not so familiar in the bookstores and to readers. Having read several novels set in the same era, most that I have read are more the mail order bride, searching for riches kind of story. Not so with Through Rushing Water. Sophia was a well developed character you can’t help but love. Through all her experiences, her faith becomes more than head knowledge and memorizing prayers. Just as God uses the circumstances in our lives to draw us to Him, Sophia’s position and the people she has been placed with are used to make her more into the person God created her to be. I also had never had such a clear picture of how the Indians were treated when white European descendants began moving into their homeland. Your heart will be moved to compassion if not anger for the way they were cheated and ignored. I look forward to reading other books by Ms. Richmond.
I did receive this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated in any way to leave a positive review.
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Review 19 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Through Rushing Water.

Date:June 24, 2012
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Kristin
Location:USA
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
First of all, I just have to say: gorgeous cover. I know what they say about judging a book by its cover and all that, but I am drawn to pretty book covers.
Thankfully, Through Rushing Water, by Catherine Richmond, lives up to its lovely cover. :) The story focuses on Sophia Makinoff, a Russian-born young woman who is teaching at a women's college in America in 1876. She expects her next position to be the wife of a young Congressman, but her plans fall apart when he unexpectedly proposes to her roommate and fellow teacher instead. Sophia impulsively signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions, but this escape doesn't go as planned, either. Instead of being sent to China or somewhere else in the east, she is assigned to be a teacher to the Ponca Indians in the Dakota territory. Once there, she quickly falls in love with the peaceful people and their fight to remain on their land. Oh, and there might be a kind, selfless carpenter named Will mixed in there somewhere, too. :)
I really enjoyed this book. It's the first historical novel that I've read in years that includes the plight of the Native Americans as an important part of the plot. I couldn't get over the average citizen's apathy towards the people, based solely on stereotypes. I loved reading about Sophia and Will standing up for the Poncas and trying to inform people about their poor living conditions. I also loved that Will had learned their language and culture and tried to teach them his trade.
The characters were well-written and likable (except the ones that aren't meant to be likable, of course :). I did have a problem keeping Henry and James straight at first, for some reason. It should have been fairly simple, considering one was a pastor (though a pessimistic, misguided one) and the other was the slightly alcoholic agent.
I liked the pace and the writing style. Sophia and Will's romance is part of the story, but there's much more to the book than that. There were a few spots of unexpected humor. I had to laugh at the part where the Ponca schoolchildren are reenacting scenes they've experienced with the shopkeepers. I was a little surprised by the turn the story took when the Poncas were forced to leave their land. I guess I expected Sophia and Will and the others to go with them or something? It threw me off a bit at first but I ended up liking how the rest of the book turned out.
Anyway, I can't think of anything I didn't like about this book. Through Rushing Water was a very enjoyable piece of historical fiction, filled with memorable characters and set during an interesting, though disturbing, time in our country's history.
{I received this book free of charge from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.}
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Review 20 for Through Rushing Water
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

a great book for some summer reading

Date:June 14, 2012
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shannon
Location:midwest
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Sophia is a wonderful likable character. I enjoyed that she was strong girl that stands up for what she believes in. Her faith grows as well has her heart for the Ponca's Indians and Will. She was faced head on with major dissappointment (the marriage proposal that never happened) and did a rushed desicion by volunteering for a mission. In the end not only did she realize it was all God's plan for her but she learned so much about a way of life she never knew exsisted. While it does go into the plight of what the Poncas tribe faced and what life was like in the Dakota Territory in the 1800's. I have read a lot of non fiction about Native American's and if you are looking for a book about their life this might not what you are looking for. That is really my only complaint and it's not even really a complaint as more of a observation. I really enjoyed this and thought it was great for summer reading!
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thank you booksneeze for allowing me to review Through Rushing Waters.
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