It’s 1849, and when Sarah’s papa and brother strike out for gold, she is stuck at home to help take care of the family and farm. This task quickly turns dangerous as the Gold Rush rises in frenzy around them. Neighbors abandon their livestock and the family must fend off half-started miners ready to steal everything they have. Sarah decides to turn her circumstances into a business—feeding the miners in exchange for gold and labor.
Sarah’s ingenuity and leadership are tested as she faces thieves, mysteries, and violent miners. Trouble closes in on all sides, and Sarah must make tough decisions on her own.
Soon Sarah learns that true treasure is not always gold, and that the greatest adventures can happen without even leaving home.
4.5 Stars: This story takes place during the California Gold Rush. So many men left their home and families behind in the quest to get rich quick. In this story, Sarah, her mother and 5 siblings are left to fend for themselves when her father and older brother leave for a week to find gold. It is another 8 months before she sees them again. With faith, prayer, ingenuity and some wonderful people who help her, Sarah is not only able to survive the Gold Rush, but prosper as well as keep her family and values intact.
I enjoyed this story of a family left behind. I know that all families did not survive like this one did, but as a middle grade story, it gave a glimpse into the evils (thievery, alcohol, murder, prostitution) without the story centering on that side. The story shows the strength and ingenuity of this family, particularly Sarah and her mother, to not only survive but thrive. I liked the way the family stuck together and shared the burdens and the work, even making it fun at times. Some of the strangers that came to the farm became an extended family and helped, especially keeping the miners civil and settling down arguments and fights that easily could have become violent. The story line of the characters who realized that they had lost their way and needed to come back to Christ were not over powering, but an important part of the story nonetheless. Seeing families reunited, violent men come to Christ and Sarah realizing that she is a strong, smart young woman made this story a winner. There are discussion questions at the back, but I don’t think it is necessary to use these to have some wonderful discussions about this story. I definitely recommend this to families who enjoy Historical Fiction and have Christian Values, or to Christian based schools. I received a copy of this book from Just Reads Publicity in exchange for an honest review. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Bertha Schwartz is a Swiss Amish transplant to the beautiful farmland of Nappanee, Indiana. She loves spending time with family and friends, including fifty-two nieces and nephews. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, sewing, and reading. Raised near the lovely Swiss city of Berne, Indiana, Swiss is her mother-language. Languages and different dialects are a special interest of hers.