Review: Lone Star Trail by Darlene Franklin

November 15, 2013

Title: Lone Star Trail
Author: Darlene Franklin
Publisher: River North
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0-8024-0583-8
Publication Date: September 1st, 2011

The six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896 begins with Lone Star Trail.  Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

Judson "Jud" Morgan's father died for Texas' freedom during the war for independence. So when the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas (the Verein) attempts to colonize a New Germany in his country, he takes a stand against them.
After Wande Fleischers' fiancé marries someone else, the young Fraulein determines to make a new life for herself in Texas. With the help of Jud's sister Marion, Wande learns English and becomes a trusted friend to the entire Morgan family.

As much as Jud dislikes the immigrant invasion, he can't help admiring Wande's character. She is sweet and cheerful as she serves the Lord and all those around her. Can the rancher put aside his prejudice to forge a new future?  Through Jud and Wande, we learn the powerful lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation among a diverse community of believers.
Lone Star Trail caught my attention for two reasons. One, it is based in Texas...can't go wrong there! Second, it's based on German immigrants. As a Texan who descended from Germans, it seemed like the right book to read.

I have mixed feelings about this book.I really enjoyed reading about Wande and her strength. She was an enjoyable character. Even though she has had one tragedy after another, she stays strong and tries to make the best of things. After traveling for so long on a ship, Wande and her family finally reach the shores of Texas. She and her family want to have a fresh start in a place that the prince of Germany has been touting as the New Germany. However, as soon as they reach the shores, Wande looses her sister. Her death is a hard hit to Wande, but she and her family continue on, it's the only thing to do.

Jud Morgan is a horse rancher. He breeds the famous Morgan horses for his family. He recently lost his sister Billie, who went out riding one night, to Comanche Indians. The Morgan family don't know if she is alive or dead. Because of this, Jud has a hatred toward the Comanche. Jud also has a hatred toward the recent surge of German immigrants. It is here where the mixed feelings come into play. Jud keeps mentioning horrible traits of the Germans, but unlike with his history to the Comanche, there has not been any personal injustice against him. Jud's personality in the story flip-flops quite a bit and it was a little off putting. I couldn't connect with him.

Marion Morgan, Jud's sister was more relateable . She was a girl ready for marriage and to have her own home. However, she still had younger girl dreams of being swept off her feet. She couldn't believe her beau could do anything wrong. However, as the story progressed, Marion grew and learned from her experiences. That was nice to read about.

The premises for the story was a great idea. Who doesn't love New Braunfels and the surrounding area?...granted it's mainly due to Schlitterbahn, a fantastically huge water-park. The story does present the wide range of backgrounds that Texas was founded on, but the execution left me a little separated from the story. The pacing was a little choppy and spanned over a couple of years, which added to my connection issues.

All and all,
3 out of 5

About the Author:

Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin lives in cowboy country—Oklahoma. Oklahoma has the benefit of being the home to her son, his wife, and their four beautiful children. Darlene loves music, needlework, reading and reality tv. She currently resides in a nursing home, which has become a place of blessing.

Darlene is the author of twenty-five novels and novellas. She has also written around 250 devotionals and personal experience pieces for various publications.

Thank you to Moody/River North, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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