Bethany House Publishers
Paris, France, 1870. Véronique Girard’s dying mother makes her promise to do something she believes she can never do: leave her home and travel to the Colorado Territory to find her father, who left for America when she was five. In Remembered, the third book in Tamera Alexander’s Fountain Creek Chronicles, Véronique journeys to the town of Willow Springs. She determines to visit all the surrounding mining towns to question people about her father, but she needs a driver to take her to these towns.
Jack Brennan has the right experience for the driver Véronique wants, but he has no desire to guide her. He has recently taken a job hauling supplies to nearby mining towns. Only one problem: Véronique has bought the wagon he meant to use for the job. This forces Jack to become her guide in exchange for use of the wagon.
As they travel together, Véronique begins to deal with the death of her mother and the possibility that she will never find her father. Jack also faces the loss of loved ones. God has helped him to let go of this burden, but as he slowly falls in love with Véronique, he fights back his feelings for her out of guilt. The novel will not keep the reader up all night. It starts off slowly, but picks up the pace during the last one hundred pages. The reader does not have to wonder if Véronique and Jack will finally get together or how they will get together. From the first time Véronique and Jack meet, they think highly of each other. Only silence keeps them from coming together immediately.
Alexander spends a lot of time on character development. The story revolves less around Véronique’s search for her father and more around her conversations with Jack. The characters are somewhat realistic, with faults to which the reader can relate. Heights scare Véronique, and closed spaces alarm Jack. However, the moral dilemmas characters face barely come out in their thoughts. One weakness of the book is the lack of tension as characters think about their situations; Alexander makes her characters too perfect. All the characters are Christian and, even with their faults, they unfailingly look to Christ first. Where spiritual battles would exist in typical Christian minds, none are found here.
Spiritual content prevails in Alexander’s novel. Characters talk about God, go to church, and read their Bibles throughout the book. Véronique and Jack deal with the Christian view on death and, as they slowly learn to confide in each other, they remind themselves that their loved ones are in a better place. Véronique comes from a wealthy background; trials refine her look on life and humble her. A painter, she lets jealousy rule her heart when she sees painters more gifted than herself, but she comes to realize that she must accept the gift God has given her for what it is and use it for His glory.
Alexander uses French terms throughout the novel to make Véronique’s words and thoughts more realistic, a practice that can hinder readability, even for this reviewer, who took two years of high school French. Whereas the plot is not overly lively, Alexander fills her narrative with colorful imagery. Véronique often reflects upon the beauty of the sunsets and clouds in America. “Billows of whitish-gray clouds stretched across the western horizon, one atop the other. Wave upon fluffy wave crested, reflecting the last vestiges of light until the sky resembled an ocean churning to meet the shore.” (p. 91) On one of Véronique’s trips into the mining towns Alexander writes, “A portion of the mountains off to her right resembled an enormous bowl that God had scooped out by hand and ladled to the brim with snow.” (p. 367) One can easily picture the settings and characters. Alexander also inserts a few unexpected twists toward the end.
The story is mostly independent first two books in the Fountain Creek Chronicles, so the reader doesn’t have to have read the rest of the series to understand what is happening. Alexander does a good job of keeping the novel historically accurate. It does not stand out from other romance novels, but it is a good story. Any lover of romance novels will enjoy reading Remembered. – Harmony Wheeler, Christian Book Previews.com
The threat of war--and a final request--send Véronique Girard from France to a distant and uninviting country. In the Colorado Territory, she searches for the man who has held her heart since childhood--her father. Pierre Girard left Paris for the Americas to seek his fortune in fur trading, vowing to send for his wife and daughter. But twenty-five years have passed and his vow remains unfulfilled. Sifting through shards of broken promises, Véronique embarks on a dangerous search for a man she scarcely remembers.
His grief finally healed, Jack Brennan is moving on with life. After years of guiding families west, he is now working as a freighter to the mining towns surrounding Willow Springs. What he doesn't count on is an unexpected traveling companion on his trips up into the mountains, and how one woman's search will cause havoc with his plans... and his life.