by Tracie Peterson
Faith Kenner is pursuing her dream to become a doctor at Willamette University’s medical college so she can use her gift for healing to help those in need, especially the native populations forced onto reservations and then neglected. When she meets Andrew Gratton, a handsome riverboat captain who has been injured on his ship, she uses her skills to tend his wound, and a friendship grows between them. Andrew admires her strength and willingness to stand her ground, and Faith appreciates his intelligence and compassion. But Faith holds a secret that means their friendship can never become anything more, so she must bury her feelings for Andrew as best she can.
When her fellow students put together lectures to speak out against Oregon’s racist laws and policies, Faith is eager to participate. But some powerful men have other plans for their state, and soon Faith is caught in the middle of a plot to push the local Indian tribes to rebel. As she and Andrew fight for the rights of others, their love for each other grows. Can they trust that God has a way toward love for them, or will her secret stand in the way of their one chance for true happiness?
A historical fiction novel about a lady doctor. If this isn’t enough of a novelty, add in the fact that she’s part Native American. I really liked the idea behind this whole story line, and found it rather intriguing.
Faith, the main character was a fascinating person. She is a determined lady who wanted to practice medicine. She went against society’s norm and took schooling to become a doctor. Her determination to be a doctor, along with her desire to be an advocate for women, and other minorities, shows her to be a person of good character.
I really liked that one of the focal points in this story is that all people are equal, no matter their skin color. Faith finds herself in the line of sight of some dangerous people, all because she didn’t let herself be bullied, but gave a talk against racism. I found this to be especially timely in light of all that we’ve been going through recently.
Andrew Gratton, a riverboat captain, and a person with whom Faith becomes acquainted at the beginning of the story, is obviously the hero, pretty much from the beginning. He and Faith are almost immediately attracted to each other, and then there’s a bit of romance.
I would have liked to have gotten to know both Faith and Andrew a bit better. (I realize it could be that one reason I found myself floundering a bit, when it came to Faith, was due to the fact that I jumped into this series when I began reading this book.) Their characters could have been developed a bit more, and their entire relationship felt a little forced.
I enjoyed reading about this particular time and place in history, and getting to know more about the western US, and Oregon in particular. One thing that really hit me hard was the fact that the blacks were not allowed to travel west during this time period, and could be, and most likely were, beaten, if discovered within the boundaries of Oregon. I’ve long known about these terrible injustices, but sometimes it takes a story like this one to make it real. I loved seeing the characters in this book rise to the challenge and try to right these wrongs that had been incurred.
I found this book, The Way of Love, to be an intriguing story about life in Oregon in those early pioneer days. This is a story about life, love, racism, family ties, and standing up for truth, among other things. If you enjoy historical fiction, please be sure and read this one!
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