Reading Donna Coulson’s book Peaks and Valleys, felt like going home! The western and midwestern geography and history of pioneer times is richly told. Before that home, I once lived very near the small Iowa town of Adel which makes a starting point for Claire’s one true love, Daniel.
Because I used to live in the Grand Encampment, Wyoming area at the ending of 20th and the beginning 21st century times, surrounded by the history that Claire experienced during the earliest 20th century in this influential little town, this well-told tale ‘rang several bells!’ The places and names were right, and the fictional character of the historical people was a pleasure to read. The author clearly loves the places and history she writes about.
The author doesn’t just repeat history, she addresses social situations and spiritual conditions that make readers stop and think about their views. The pain of abuse and discouragement of poverty with an opening of peace and faith are eloquently spun into a believable tale. The earliest parts of this book are filled with some of the saddest situations I could ever imagine. Historically, families of the 19th century had a different culture than we are used to, but acceptance and approval of that situation is not right. Claire developed a survivor’s crust that only love and Christ could crack. The Christianity at the foundation of the story is occasionally spread with a broad spatula, but still remains believable because without the plain talk to Claire, she likely wouldn’t have understood or accepted the faith that became a source of peace and strength for her.
In the tender care of this author, we see the peaks and valleys of western geography and the peaks and valleys of life, day by day.
I recommend this book and others that will tumble from this author’s pen. My daughter is personally acquainted with Donna Coulson and ‘tipped’ me off about this excellent reading opportunity.