My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Christian fiction, romance
On my TBR list?: Yes, since Sep 2010
Book 1 of 4 of the Dakotah Treasures series
Synopsis, from LauraineSnelling.com:
Journey west to a land of adventure in the untamed Dakota territory!
Ruby Torvald sets out on a daunting journey with her young sister, Opal, to hopefully see their long-lost father once more and claim the promised inheritance. But instead of the treasure they expected, the sisters discover something most shocking.
Ruby's bold determination in the face of scandal is the only way to redeem her father's legacy. Does she have it in her?
This book has been on my TBR list for quite a while. I enjoyed Lauraine Snelling's Norwegian books quite a bit and I was afraid to read something of hers that didn't have the same vibe. However, this book is still set in the 1800s and the title character is Norwegian, so Snelling didn't stray too far afield with this series.
In 2005 Bethany House published a volume containing all four books in the series, and I'm recommending up front that this is the way it should be experienced. "Ruby" reads like the first few chapters of a longer story. Taken as a whole, the series is about the growth of a small frontier town. If you read the descriptions of the other three books, you will be spoiled on major plot points. In my opinion, it would be better to get the completed series in one volume at the start and enjoy all four stories as a whole.
This book is part of a genre I would call "gentle storytelling". It isn't edgy or shocking like more modern fare, and you won't be too surprised by any of the plot twists. Snelling creates characters that you care about, and that is enough to propel me through the story. The Christian aspect seems to have been inserted a bit more clumsily than it was in her Blessing books, but it didn't turn me off.
"Ruby" is a book that you could hand to your 13-year-old daughter, but I doubt that it would appeal to her. My first thought was that it would appeal to an adult in a remedial reading program. The subject matter wouldn't seem juvenile to an adult yet the vocabulary isn't complicated. It is perfect for some of the maiden aunts in my family.