Wings of A Dream by Anne Mateer
Bethany House, September 2011
Ppbk 319 pages
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally written for Historical Novels Review Magazine
Burton Book Review Rating:
Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promised adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry. While she waits for the Great War to end and Arthur to return to her so they can pursue all their plans, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, seeing this chance to be closer to Arthur's training camp as God's approval of her plans.
But the Spanish flu epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's death, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebeka is torn between the desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.
This impressive debut novel is an inspiring and descriptive story with a heroine who manages to captivate from the start. Rebekah takes a short trip to Texas to help her ailing aunt, where immediately she is thrust into the lives of four young lovable children as the Spanish flu epidemic takes a hold of the small community. She cares for the children and becomes instantly devoted to them as she is the sole caretaker for them while their father Frank is away during World War I, known as the Great War at that time. Told in first person, we experience Rebekah’s fears and dreams, making the story more endearing and powerful as death and faith intertwine.
Rebekah enjoys her life with the children for the time being, but has always told herself there were more options for her. She clings to the dream of the unknown, and shuns the everyday life she is unknowingly carved out for. When Frank finally comes home to claim his spot as head of household, Rebekah has to choose which path is best for her. Could it be impetuous Arthur, or the kindly Sheriff, who always knows when Rebekah needs a helping hand, or should she just go on back home to her parents in Oklahoma? I really enjoyed this Christian historical and the supporting cast of characters. I especially enjoyed it when I recognized the scenery, as it was set in East Texas where I live.