Newly arrived in Portland to finish her studies as a doctor at Willamette University's medical college, thirty-year-old Faith Kenner is glad to be near family again at her cousin Nancy's boardinghouse. But the proximity is bittersweet, stirring up the desire for a family of her own - a longing that the secrets she harbors will never permit.
When she stumbles into handsome riverboat captain Andrew Gratton, who has been injured defending a Native working on his ship, she surprises him by expertly tending his wound and praising his conviction. A fast friendship forms, but Faith is careful to quell her hopes for something more.
Instead, she joins her fellow students in putting together lectures to speak out against Oregon's racist laws and policies - actions that garner the dangerous attention of powerful men who have other plans for their state. Soon Faith is caught in the middle of a plot to push the local Indian tribes to rebel, and her family is threatened. Will the harm these men intend be her undoing or is it simply the mysterious path God has her on to bring the truth - and her heart's desires - to light?
With over one hundred novels to her credit, Tracie Peterson has established herself as one of the leading Christian historical romance authors. I have read and enjoyed many of her books over the years, and her new Willamette Brides series is no exception (see my review of the first novel, Secrets of My Heart).
Brimming with historical tidbits and events, such as the "Storm King", a Pacific Northwest storm of 1880, The Way of Love pulls the reader in, and I finished the book in no less than two days (a record for me with a busy work/life schedule!). The plot is rather engaging with Faith's internal character conflict as she harbors tragic family secrets which have the potential to prevent her dream of becoming an accredited physician. The Way of Love is also an eyeopener into some of the prejudices and terrible treatment the Native Americans and African-Americans suffered. I had no idea that African-Americans were, at multiple time, excluded from living in the Oregon state, and further, were not allowed to vote until the mid-1900s.
The world needs more Faith Kenners. With her solid faith in God undergirding her, she is portrayed as a godly, self-assured, independent woman who speaks her mind and doesn't hesitate to stand up for her fellow man. Faith doesn't step down from her passion for helping the Native Americans, even when it puts herself in dangerous situations and public ridicule. Her convictions are inspiring, and may it spur many on to fight the numerous injustices in the world today.
There is a threading over of a storyline from Secrets of My Heart that is not fully resolved in The Way of Love, making me eager for the next novel in the series, Forever by Your Side. Thank you, Tracie Peterson, for another well-written historical novel!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.