October 09, 2011
Wildflower Bride by Mary Connealy
Wade Sawyer has been camping out in an old cabin one winter and ventures out straight into the aftermath of a massacre. Not everyone is dead however, Glowing Sun, a white woman who has been raised by the tribe is still alive and driving off her attacker. When Wade saves her, she agrees to come with him back to his father's house who has recently become paralyzed. There, Wade struggles with his difficult father, lazy wranglers who haven't been doing their job, and someone who's out to kill he and Abby (Glowing Sun). But he also is falling in love with her and she's ready to kill anything that twitches an eye wrong.
The characters were completely out of whack in this book. None of them had truthful motivations. Wade who supposedly had a harsher past and dealings with his father was too saintly; when he wasn't trying to control Abby yet saying he didn't want to control her. Abby was my most liked character but even she, wild as she was, acquiesced to everything pretty easily and then does a complete turn around in mind set towards the end. I just didn't see the attraction the two held for each other. The side characters were actually better than the main characters in this instance.
There was a lot wrong with the plot, so much so that there will probably be some spoilers for the book in this paragraph, so reader beware. My first problem was the fact that an entire Native American tribe could be massacred by four somewhat bungling outlaws. Just doesn't seem realistic. There also was the notion that instead of going to the tribe for help along with the injured like they planned, they just go somewhere else instead when another plot instance happens and never trouble themselves about the situation again. This continues throughout the story with unlikely things happening at inconvenient times just for the sake of the plot. Another big alarm for me was the cavalier treatment of past abusive and current abusive situations. I'm pretty sensitive to things surrounding abuse right now which could account for my disgust of the way the book made it seem like you could just preach God at the abusers and they'd see the light, but I really thing that Connealy did not handle it well. She tries to say that showing the right way through God is all that is needed to change an abuser and that staying in the situation and trying to change it is best. Which segways me into the fact that this was a Christian fiction book and it was overly preachy and not very naturally Incorporated into the book. It was more of the characters announcing they were Christian rather than showing.
The more I think about the book the more I dislike it. I'll probably return to some of her other works. But this one just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.