Thursday, September 24, 2009
Under a Lakota Moon, by Deborah L. Weikel
Another romance. I feel a little embarrassed now because I have this prejudice about romances and yet I liked this one.
Rosalyn, a divorced single mom, moves to Minnesota with her maiden aunt with the expectation of assisting her sister Susan, who has written to ask for help with her new baby. When they get there they find Susan gone, Susan's husband dead and buried, and Susan's children in the care of the local minister and his wife. Shocked, though not entirely surprised, at Susan's self-absorbed letter explaining why she left her family, Rosalyn now faces a daunting challenge. How to rebuild a life for herself and provide a home for not only her family but her niece and nephew. Cleaning the house that was once Susan's, she meets Susan's brother-in-law, Lone Wolf. Half Lakota, half Swede, he and Rosalyn, after a near fight with a broom, manage to sort out who the other is and the situation that must now be dealt with: who will raise Susan's children?
A meeting with the local circuit judge presents them with a solution albeit with another problem. Singly, neither Rosalyn nor Lone Wolf may keep Susan's children. But if they were to marry....
Thus ensues the development of a thrown-together family. Can Lone Wolf trust Rosalyn, the sister of a woman that mistreated him and his mother, manipulated his brother and ran out on her children? Can Rosalyn, abused in her first marriage, learn to trust the man who would marry her at the drop of a hat?
It seems that a common occurrence in many romances I have read, is the "misunderstanding". Someone says something that another mistakes to mean something entirely different from the original intent, and then the consequences lead to more misunderstandings or awkward moments, etc. etc. There are plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings in this story. Although it seems crucial to the plot in some instances, and the source of some humor as well, it's not something I enjoy in itself. I think that is one of the main reasons that I avoid romances. The other, of course, the need to wipe off the steam from a pair of reading glasses, though thank heaven THAT wasn't a problem with this book.
When the two romantic leads are married to begin with, feelings of physical attraction are no longer morally wrong, but I'm grateful the references were brief and fairly clean. I do not enjoy voyeurism and I think Weikel has avoided that wonderfully.
I enjoyed, though maybe some may not, the demonstration of faith Rosalyn and Lone Wolf had in God (or the Great Spirit, as Lone Wolf prefers). In a way, that faith helps to knit them together as husband and wife. Any marriage could be benefitted by adherence to principals such as empathy, forgiveness, charity, and service, all of which appear in their developing relationship. This factor more than any other helped me to let go, briefly, of my general disdain of romances.
I think this book would be alright for teenagers to read. Discussion could revolve around dependence on the Spirit for making important decisions, the effects of marital abuse, the importance of communication within marriage and the benefits of forgiveness.
There. I liked it in spite of myself.