I do believe that Karen Witemeyer is my favorite author in the Christian historical fiction genre. She has this balance of faith and humor that I just love. While I’ve enjoyed all of her books, I think the Ladies of Harper’s Station series is my favorite of her work. The idea of a town made up entirely of women, and run by those women is an interesting concept, especially in the Wild West era of American history.
Harper’s Station is a safe haven for all of womankind, whether they’re on the run or looking for a fresh start or are simply uncomfortable around men.
Of course, Witemeyer is a romance author, so of course the town doesn’t stay completely free of men. But the men that insinuate themselves into Harper’s Station are good men, morally upright and dependent on God. The community accepts them based on these attributes, and they more than pull their weight while still giving the women plenty of room to lead their own lives and run the town as they see fit.
This is the story of Grace Mallory, a telegraph operator on the run. She finds a home and a family in Harper’s Station, but trouble has tracked her down. Amos Bledsoe, another telegraph operator, has fallen in love with Grace over the line, where they can chat after business hours. Amos overhears an urgent message for Grace, telling her that her pursuers have located her and are coming for her. He makes a spur of the moment decision to come to Grace’s aid and to meet her in person.
This book had much to offer. It was encouraging and uplifting regarding faith. The Christian element in this book wasn’t just something tacked on to story so that it fit into the genre. The faith in this book was real, something that was struggled with and leaned upon when times are tough. It permeated every aspect of life to these characters, which I appreciated. The book was also full of mystery and intrigue. Though the plot twists weren’t surprising, they were always fun to read. And as with all of Witemeyer’s stories, it was really funny, especially when it came to etiquette. Breaches of etiquette in stories set in this time period can be hilarious, and Witemeyer has just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek humor with these lapses.
Was the book predictable? Yes. Was it sparkling with originality? No. Was the prose rich and cerebral and deep? Nope.
But it was sweet and fun and made me laugh. It encouraged me in my faith and made me sigh at the sweetness of the love found within the pages. This book was exactly what I needed when I picked it up, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre!