Book: The Trouble with Nancy
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Western
Release Date: July 18, 2019
NOTE: I WAS GIVEN A COPY OF THIS BOOK BY THE AUTHOR. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN. LINKS IN THIS POST MAY BE AFFILIATE LINKS
Her reputation precedes her, whether the bad guys realize it or not.
Nancy Harrison has finally stepped out of her prissy box and tried to do something helpful–but did she go overboard in her first self-less act?
She can’t ride, she hates horses, and she’s terrified of being alone. What’s a girl to do?
Join the Pony Express, of course.
When Nancy Harrison’s family receives a tax bill they can’t pay, there’s only one option open to them. Her brother, Lewis, will have to join the Pony Express and earn the money that way.
It would have worked, too, if ruffians hadn’t attacked him and broken his leg.
She doesn’t want to do it, of course, but what choice is there? Lose everything or ride a stupid, smelly horse for a few weeks? Nancy decides that she’ll chop off her hair, take to the dusty overland trail, and prove that she isn’t a “flighty little thing.”
But things go from bad to worse as she discovers that riding astride is worse than sidesaddle—especially when you’re not used to it.
Can’t she just go back home to balls, teas, and the hope of a suitor before her twentieth birthday? Sans her hair, of course, because that’ll entice the fellows. Sigh.
There is only one author that I love the writing of so well that I make sure I read everything she writes. That is Chautona Havig. She has a way of taking a common theme and putting a very different twist on it, or of taking an unusual theme, and either way she makes a very believable story with characters you feel like you really know. In The Trouble With Nancy, she has a girl disguise herself as a boy to ride the Pony Express. A girl pretending to be a man isn’t that unusual—but quite often, in a case like that, the girl saves the day by being smarter than the men around her, or something along that line. Not so in this case!
Nancy’s mother had a problem. She had just been informed that there was a tax owing on the home her husband left her when he died, and if the tax wasn’t paid, she would lose her home. Not to worry, said her brother-in-law; he had a plan. Sell the house to him, and move into his house. That was not her plan—but what could she do? Her son Lewis decided to become a Pony Express rider to earn the money to pay the tax—but then he was attacked and injured. What would become of the family now?
Nancy had always been rather a prissy, self-centered girl. She couldn’t ride, she hated dirt and heat. All she wanted was to get married—but she looked like her brother except for her beautiful hair. Suddenly, she knew what she had to do to save the family: Take Lewis’s place as a Pony Express rider! However, she found herself in deep water when things were different from what she expected—and she had to put up with smelly, awful horses that she could hardly stay on top of. Would she survive her trip across the country and back?
This is a beautiful account of a girl learning to put others first. I also love the way she learns about God and relying on Him. The spiritual lessons are woven in so gently that I almost didn’t pick up on them, but a few passages were real gems. After she reached home again, she was telling a friend how she learned to rely on knowing God was with her, but now that she was home, she felt distanced from Him. Her friend’s counsel to her was invaluable
I wouldn’t say this is one of my favorite of Chautona’s books, but it is a good one. It’s clean, light reading, and a fun adventure/mystery story. I read it when I wasn’t feeling good and needed to lay down, and just wanted something easy to read. If you like historical fiction set in the West, you’ll enjoy it.
About the Author:
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
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