The Realization of a Dream

Elizabeth Westbrook is determined to become the country’s next premier newspaper photographer and she’s determined to defeat this strange illness settled in her lungs. Hopeful that, not only will the Colorado Territory’s mountains hold the key photograph she needs to become that newspaper photographer, but that the cold air and hot springs will cure her ailment, she heads out on a mission…to fulfill a dream.

In Tamera Alexander’s novel, From A Distance, we are shown that dreams aren’t always what we thought they were, and the realization of that could lead us to an altogether different dream….

Daniel Ranslett has tried to live alone for months now. After the war he had some troubling times, dreams of the past haunting him. And then with the death of a good friend–blaming himself for Thomas’s death–Daniel just wants to disappear and live by himself with his dog, Beau.

But when Elizabeth Westbrook comes charging into his life, demanding that he help her find another bull elk to photograph, Daniel agrees. He killed the animal she’d taken the picture of and then, in another second, caused her to drop the photograph before she could even develop it. While he feels guilty about it, he also is frustrated with himself for agreeing to help her.

Elizabeth knew that that photograph would’ve been her ticket into this new job she’s working for. And then that man came along and ruined everything! But, when her traveling companion and friend, Josiah Birch, tells her that Daniel Ranslett might be able to guide her to the Ute Indians and then on to the cliff dwellings in the mountains, Elizabeth decides that she should at least try to befriend this rugged reclusive man.

But the lies she’s built here in Timger Ridge are starting to eat at her. And, while her illness seems to be getting better, the episodes don’t seem to be stopping.

But, the worst of all is when Elizabeth takes a photo that could be key to a murder investigation…putting her life in danger. And when Daniel is called upon by James McPherson–the brother-in-law of Thomas Boyd–to pay a debt, Daniel knows that it could mean trouble.

While he’s come to care for Elizabeth, he doesn’t want to have another person’s life in his hands…again. He’s already lost people he’s cared about in his life…how can he risk hers by taking her up into those mountains at the wrong time of year?

From A Distance made me cry. It was beautifully written and worthy of great praise. There is, however, a part that you might want to consider before reading it. Josiah Birch is a Negro and the book is based in 1875. He carries with him old pages from a journal that belonged to a woman slave. In the journal entries she talks about how the master of the house uses her and it is made clear that her master takes advantage of her (I’m sure you understand what I mean by that).

Other than that, the book was amazing! Such an incredible journey of faith and dreams! Elizabeth comes to realize that not everything is the way she’d dreamed it would be and that, in her heart, an entirely different dream lay there.

A dream that involved an honorable, amazing man like Daniel Ranslett….

Coming Soon: When a young girl with an overactive imagination is is thrust into a world of sophistication, greed, love and lies…will she be able to keep her imagination under control, or will she fall hard and break her own heart in the process? Look for my review of Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen, soon!!

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