Friday, June 17, 2011

Litfuse Blog Tour - Spring For Susannah


Booklist says, "Inspired by [folk] lyrics, Richmond arrives on the inspirational fiction scene with a moving debut novel. Readers will be filled with hope that Susannah will learn the true meaning of love. Highly recommended where inspiring, romantic historical fiction is in demand."

Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.

When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory.

Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her-and his faith in God's perfect plan-slowly begin to chip away at the wall she hides behind.

When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.

She looks to the future with a renewed heart. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.


Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.

For more about Catherine, please visit

To celebrate her debut novel, Catherine and her publisher, Thomas Nelson,
have teamed up to give away a Spring For Susannah Prize Package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond (for KINDLE)

To enter just click one of the icons below and then tell your friends! But hurry,
giveaway ends on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th at 5
PM (6PM MST, 7PM CST, & 8PM EST) during Catherine's Spring for Susannah Book
Club Party on Facebook
! Catherine is rustling up some fun for the party - she'll

be chatting about the story behind her novel, hosting a book club chat, testing your mail-
order bride trivia skills, and giving away some GREAT prizes! Don't miss the fun and tell
your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
The Review
My Ranking: 6 out of 10
Ages 16 & up
With such a gorgeous cover, I was eager to find out if Catherine Richmond's debut novel was as beautiful on the inside as it was the out. I have always loved reading mail-order bride or forced marriage books that turn out great in the end, with both people in love. This book did end up have the happy ending I enjoy with a sweet, unique story beforehand. 
The main problem I had with this book was how I wasn't able to connect to the characters, but I totally believe this to only be because of my personality, traits, likes, etc. But still, I never really fell for Jesse. In fact, at the beginning I flat out didn't like him. My friend, who is reading the book now, really liked Jesse, so obviously this was just me and I totally think that others would find him quite charming - he just wasn't my type of guy. 
Susannah was a sweet character and I liked how shy she was - I certainly know I would be as silent as a mouse if I was in her predicament, too! But, I did find myself getting a bit frustrated with her how she kept being unsure about her feelings for Jesse even after she had acknowledged that she enjoyed his touch, kiss, etc. I was quite put out with her sometimes. :P But overall, she was definitely a lovable character who I thoroughly enjoyed learning about throughout the book.
As for content, it is natural that there are a few things to mention because of the whole "not in love but married". Susannah thought occasionally about how she didn't know how to respond to his touch. There are scenes that end with Jesse getting into bed with Susannah, and it is obvious that they consummate their marriage, though the scene ends before anything happens and nothing is descriptive, besides it saying she saw him drop off his robe and then the scene ends. At sixteen, it did make me a bit uncomfortable and I paid attention for other scenes where they were getting ready for bed and simply skimmed it. But, nothing was worse than that and a few times where it mentions him wrapping his arm around her shoulders or waist. Definitely a more mature read.
After Susannah miscarries, they visit a doctor because Jesse is worried about consummating their marriage again and having Susannah get hurt. The doctor was extremely blunt and crude about ways to consummate without getting her pregnant, suggesting they use condoms, do it at certain times of the month, or spill the seed. It is obvious that it was horrific the way he was speaking and completely inappropriate, as Jesse and Susannah are both horrified. I confess to only briefly skimming that part and hurrying forward. I think that the author could have better done this scene and had it much cleaner. It wasn't necessary to the plot at all.
Towards the end, Jesse is sick and has no clothing for the majority of it, but it was minorly mentioned and not descriptive.
I probably won't read this book again, honestly. But I did enjoy the rest of the book - save the doctor scene. ;) But, this did make for a nice, one time read that I enjoyed and believe a lot of other mature readers would. :)


Faye said...

I read this book recently and found myself feeling much the same way you did. I wasn't sold on Jesse but I tolerated him.

Jane said...

Faye - Sad to see I wasn't the only one! It wasn't that he was horrible or anything, he just wasn't my type and I never really liked him. Like you said - he was simply tolerated.

Thanks for commenting! :)

Diana Flowers said...

I really loved this book, but was put off by the sexual innuendos as well. It was more realistic than your typical mail order bride books!

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