Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Revell as part of the Revell Reads blogger program. The only requirement was that I must write a review. The following words and opinions are my own.
In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial. Perhaps this inspired authors to set their new work in one of many national parks in the country. I finished reading and reviewing a series set in various parks by one Christian writer earlier in the year, and am now here reviewing the start of a new series by a different author set in similar locations.
A Distance Too Grand takes readers back to the 1870s, when Arizona wasn’t yet a state and the Grand Canyon wasn’t an organized park with lodging. This is a novel about a military survey team, looking for a safe way for wagon trains to cross the vast area. It’s led by an army captain whose father forged a career in the artillery and doesn’t understand why his son wanted to be an engineer. The female photographer is the only daughter of a progressive father, who didn’t see her gender as a hindrance to anything she wanted to do. They’d met several years ago at West Point where Meg – our photographer – felt like a fish out of water among polite society. As a result, she’d rebuffed his suit, feeling that she’d never be an appropriate military wife. Five years later, their paths cross and it’s evident that there’s still a strong attachment.
But Regina Scott’s newest novel isn’t only an historic romance. It was the suspense-filled narrative that kept me hooked. Thanks to nature and humans, this becomes no ordinary expedition. In the course of the story readers can learn not only how photographers created their pictures in the late 19th century, but also how to keep cougars away from camp. And always carry a pistol or a knife on you. There’s also a clear cut Christian message: be yourself, be the best you can be of the person God created, and want the best for others as well.
If I have one disappointment with the book, it’s that Ben’s sister, a likable character, only appears at the end. I felt there was a story brewing there, and would’ve liked to have had more about her. And, while this is the start of a series, it doesn’t appear as though the stories will be continuous. Instead, it seems the next book will be set at another location, with new characters, some fifteen years later.
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Publication Date: 01 October 2019