This is one spicy Christian novel. I loved Courting Morrow Little It shook up the tradition of historical Christian fiction quite a bit and was an earthy and passionate read. Morrow Little has recently returned to frontier Kentucke life following a stint in "civilized" Philadelphia with her dress-maker aunt. Back with her widowed father, Morrow tries to reconcile her future with the Shawnee Warrior attack that killed her mother and younger sister. Her brother, Jess, as is made apparent in an opening flashback, is never found. Though her minister father reaches out to the Shawnee ( especially Surrounded by the Enemy and his son, Red Shirt), Morrow consistently struggles with comprehension of a merciless act. How could an all-loving God expect her to forgive the warriors that stole such a vital part of her childhood?
Pursued by a dashing redcoat and many of the town's more affluent beaux, Morrow finds herself at a crossroads as she spends more and more time with Red Shirt ( so called as a play on British "red coat" when he acts as a spy for the British Army). As she inches closer and closer to forgiveness she finds the Shawnee way of life and adventuresome grasp of nature unsettlingly attractive. As Red Shirt reveals more of his past ( his mother was a white woman held captive by the Shawnee) and his decision to follow his father and embrace the Shawnee way of life, Morrow becomes beguiled by the people who once so repulsed and frightened her. Embracing forgiveness ultimately leads to a forbidden love. The chemistry between the hero and heroine of this novel was palpable.
Often Christian readers talk about Julie Lessman and how she ignites a passionate, physical spark in a relatively tame genre... I found Frantz's book to contain this amount of spice... and more. It certainly doesn't hinge on indecent, rather threads a passionate and physical attraction between two young people from opposite walks of life. A fun, sensual book, Courting Morrow Little reclaims a healthy normalcy often lost in overtly "preachy" Christian fiction. Morrow is a living, breathing human girl whose religious walk is made more believable due to her wrestling with growing attraction. Not once is God or Faith absent; rather woven seamlessly into the infrastructure of a playful and passionate historical romance. Frantz's attention to historical detail and dialect (especially in her knowledge of Shawnee language) was quite welcome. A sassy, intelligent read, Courting Morrow Little strays from conservative Christian historicals. Frantz has embraced a time and locale unique to Christian fiction and placed an indelible stamp on it.
As mentioned, I am privileged enough to be reading for the historical category of the INSPYs this year and immediately ordered this alongside The Frontiersman's Daughter when I learned of Frantz's appearance on the shortlist.
Has my reading ever sparkled this week!
Check out Laura's website: she likes the BBC North and South and ( as is evident from The Frontiersman's Daughter) has a thing for Neil MacNeill from Christy by Catherine Marshall. A literary kindred spirit, methinks. She also lists The Blue Castle as one of her favourite books and readers of this blog know that is a HUGE thing for me....