From start to finish, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is a rollickin’, vivid story of adventure. Lori Benton weaves a beautiful tale wound throughout the western North Carolina mountains in the late 1700s, when Indian skirmishes and border battles caused shots to fire regularly through the woods. Her descriptions of Tamsen and Jesse Bird’s journey over the mountains left me longing to go for a hike in the nearby mountains, as she has an incredible gift for making the scenery crackle and rise around you. It’s amazing to me now to look back and review the story, because I realize that what I thought was the main adventure was barely a fraction of the tale to come! Throughout Benton’s story, multiple threads of mystery kept me wondering all the while: Who is Cade, really? What did happen to Jesse’s parents? What could be inside the box from Tamsen’s mother?
Tamsen is a beautiful woman whose mother is supposedly of Spanish descent. Her stepfather, Mr. Parrish, thrusts Tamsen into a first date with the seemingly dashing Ambrose Kincaid, who means to propose, but shortly afterwards, Tamsen feels she must escape the impending marriage. Torn from her mother and all she’s ever known, Tamsen throws in her lot with the mysterious Jesse Bird, who has a history of his own he desperately wishes to remember. The two of them grow together in their adventures, falling in love sweetly but surely. Although, for a long time Jesse cannot bring himself to tell her what he truly feels; delightful suspension!
Best of all, both Tamsen and Jesse seek the Lord in a natural, earnest way throughout the story. Tamsen is a thrillingly authentic and winning heroine. Her bravery, courage and self-will propel the story to new heights, and you can see why Jesse cares for her so deeply. He relies on the Lord, praying often and with sincerity. This book’s Christian message is skillfully woven throughout, adding deep purpose to the book’s plot and giving a beautiful reflection of the importance of having a relationship with God.
As you can tell, I absolutely loved this story and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good outdoor adventure and love story! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for other stories by the talented raconteur Lori Benton. Truly, it put me in mind of the Pocahontas and Sacajawea stories I read as a young girl, or the “girl gets kidnapped by Indians and ends up becoming one of them”-type stories, but so much better and richer!
I received this book free from Blogging for Books for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.