The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is Lori Benson's sophomore novel, but it is my first novel I've read by her. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Generally I don't go for novels set in the late 1700s, but knowing Benton's debut was highly praised, I snatched up the chance to review it. Goodness, I'm glad I did! Benson's writing style is so fluid and the effort she put into research is obvious- but the information isn't shoved in your face. It was presented as the need arose.
There are so many reasons I adored Tamsen and Jesse, but I'll only mention a few each. I'll start with Tamsen. That girl is so strong! And I'm not talking about physical prowess here. She may have felt in shambles, or even like porcelain, for a couple weeks but she persevered. She never gave up. Jesse was a perfect hero. No, I don't mean his character wasn't flawed but the guy had his priorities straight. He was willing to give up Tamsen if God told him to. I love the trust he expressed and willingness to follow God's will.
All I can really say is: wow. I will definitely be going back and reading Burning Sky in the near future, no questions asked. Benton has an addictive style writing that captivates you until the last page. This one's a keeper! I recommend to readers ages fifteen and older who enjoy the late 1700s American setting. I also recommend to those looking for an inspirational read.
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
Western North Carolina, 1787 ~ To escape a threatening stepfather and an unwanted marriage, Tamsen Littlejohn enlists the aid of Jesse Bird, a frontiersman she barely knows, to spirit her away from Morganton, North Carolina, west beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Trouble pursues, as the two men intent on seeing her recovered prove relentless in their hunt. Trouble awaits in the form of a divided frontier community. Across the mountains the State of Franklin has been declared, yet many settlers remain loyal to North Carolina. Chaos reigns, thwarting Tamsen and Jesse’s hastily cobbled plan to keep her safe.
With her pursuers ever nearing, the region in turmoil, neighbors grown suspicious of her presence, Tamsen’s safety is soon put in greater jeopardy. Gaining the freedom she longs for will mean running yet again, to the most unlikely refuge imaginable—the Cherokees, a people balanced on the knife edge of war.
But the biggest complication may prove to be Tamsen’s growing bond with her knight in greasy buckskins, Jesse Bird. Falling in love was never part of the plan.