I normally post book reviews on Fun Read Friday, but sometimes I participate in blog tours that ask you to post reviews on certain days. That’s the case with Morning for Dove by Martha Rogers, so I’m happy to start out this week (and get back on track with posting — whew, what a crazy few weeks it’s been!) with my review.
Readers first met Dove Morris and Luke Anderson in Martha Rogers’s first book about the town of Barton Creek in Oklahoma Territory, Becoming Lucy. Dove and Lucy are close friends, so now it’s time to hear Dove’s story.
Morning for Dove takes place in 1897, when everyone in town knows everyone else and when expansion is making its mark whether people like it or not. Some changes, like the town’s first introductions to telegraph offices and ice boxes, are welcome. Others, like learning to live with people from different backgrounds or cultures, aren’t always welcome.
Feuds between cattlemen and ranchers, a theft during a town celebration, parents who try to plan their children’s lives, and the ever-present threat of wildfires because of an extended drought add layers of tension and conflict to the story. But I think the real issues at hand in Morning for Dove are prejudice and forgiveness.
Dove and her brothers are half Cherokee. Most people in town seem accepting of them and their mother, but a couple of influential women in town want nothing to do with them. One of those women, Bea Anderson, is Luke’s mother.
Luke and Dove have known each other for several years. When Luke finally sees Dove in a new light at Lucy’s wedding and wants to know her better, they both know his mother’s feelings about Native Americans. They pursue the relationship anyway with the help of friends Martin and Sarah, praying that Bea’s heart will change and trusting that God will work things out if they’re meant to be together. They soon reach the point of not being able to hide their feelings from others and Luke must stand up to his mother and her opinions.
By story’s end, Dove and Luke are together, their mothers have reconciled, and the bad guys have been dealt with (of course, you knew those things would happen because it’s a romance J). I won’t spoil the surprises along the way of how all these things happen – I’ll just say you should read Morning for Dove yourself. It was a sweet story that made me look inside my own heart and attitudes, but didn’t come across as preachy. The characters were likeable, the historical details well researched, the lessons true even in today’s world. I enjoyed Morning for Dove very much and look forward to the last book in the series, Finding Becky.