"Spring For Susannah"
This review is for the novel "Spring For Susannah" by Catherine Richmond.
Susannah is a young woman who is left alone in the world when both of her parents pass on. She is left with virtually no money to her name and a heavy ton of emotional baggage.
She is like a shy little bird that has never been able to break free of her shell. She has never had any suitors call on her and she was taught to never voice her opinions and was not given any affection as a child. Her mother and father chose to sleep in separate bedrooms and she was, of course, an only child. None of this exactly led to a chatty, trusting and loving person by adulthood.
Susannah had been writing to her pastor's brother, who lives out in the Dakota Territory, before her parents died. He was lonely and needed a bride, so the natural course of action for him was to write to his brother and see if he knew of a marriageable women, who would be suitable for him as his new bride. Even though she only wrote to him because she figured he was writing to several women and would never actually choose her, Susannah turns out to be just what Jesse needs. And unbeknownst to her, he is exactly what she happens to need.
When she is left alone with no family in the world to call her own and only just enough money to buy her train tickets, with a tiny bit left over, she makes the very long journey to join Jesse in Dakota.
Before she departs the city for the Dakota Territory, Jesse's brother marries them using a stand-in for Jesse, as there are no pastors where she is heading.
Becoming a mail order bride is not exactly what Susannah would have chosen, had she been able to do something different, but it is the lot that has befallen her.
She is, however, blessed with a husband who is very understanding of her needs. He allows her to take her time in coming out of her shell, even though it is frustrating for him. He is quite the talker and doesn't understand why she won't talk to him the way he talks to her. He doesn't understand the fact of having grown up in such a strict household and not being shown love or affection. He has grown up in a large family and is happy and exuberant most of the time.
Living in a dirt house and trying to fight grasshoppers and harsh winters is not an easy task but Susannah manages better than one might expect.
As Susannah begins to allow herself to have opinions, to feel love for another person and let herself confide in Jesse about the painful attack she endured before leaving the city, she comes into her own and begins to blossom and become the women that Jesse loves and knows she can be.
I think she even ends up surprising herself a little bit toward the end.
Her husband is more than a little glad when he realizes that his new wife knows about doctoring animals since her father was a veterinarian. He taught her the things he knew even though her mother didn't approve of it. It turns out to be a wonderful thing considering the fact that she and her new husband only have one neighbor and no doctors or vets anywhere close to them. Jesse realizes just how skilled his new wife is when his ox goes into labor with twins and is having a difficult birth. If not for the blessing of his new wife, the ox and both babies would most likely not have made it.
Working with animals like that was much frowned upon where she came from and not something that would have earned her praise back in the city, but Jesse could just about bust the buttons off his shirt he is so proud of her. He encourages her to be herself and come into her own. No one has ever done that for her before and I think it is one of the things that eventually softens Susannah toward him.
I can't say to much more without giving away major story plots. I did enjoy the book and it certainly has its twist and turns but a few things bothered me about it. There were a couple of story points that didn't have the ends tied up at the ending of the book so I can only assume that there is a sequel? Either that or it was a poor planning for the ending in my opinion.
I think you will enjoy watching Susannah blossom into a strong and capable woman and the book is entertaining and interesting.
Has anyone else read this? What are your thoughts?
*Note* I received this book for free through the Booksneeze book review bloggers program in exchange for writing a review about it. I am not required to write a positive review. Any opinions expressed are my own and they are sincere.