“Through Rushing Water” by Catherine Richmond- book review
Sophia had her future planned out. Rexford Montgomery, US Congressman, would ask her to marry him; and she would be his wife, run his household, be an asset to his career, have his children, and everything. She dressed carefully for dinner, and as she rushed down the stairs she sees him! And then he proses to her roommate. Sophia is devastated! To save face, she rashly signs to be a missionary teacher, hopefully somewhere very far away, like China.
But she is assigned to the Ponca tribe in Nebraska. She might as well have had received a foreign assignment. These people did not speak English. They had strange customs and dress. But she was a teacher, and teach the children she would. But how to list them in the role when they do not have last names, or unpronounceable first times? So much to learn.
As Sophia settles into her role at the Ponca Agency house, she is shocked by the lack that surrounds her. There is never enough food, clothing, building materials, medicine, and on and on, the list is endless. But as she comes to love the children and their families, she sees that she can make a difference in their lives, even a little bit at a time.
This book shares an honest look at the way the native Americans were treated in the late 1800′ s as the white man moved west desiring more land. And the way some Americans tried to help. The church played an interesting role in the Native American nations’ stories and often was caught between helping the Indians and obeying the government.
While it is a work of fiction, the general story is one that way played out over and over again in the west during this time period, which should possibly be considered a dark blot on the history of the US. The book is well written and easy to read. The character development is excellent and brings the reader right into the action.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and all opinions expressed are my own.