It’s 1935. Clarissa Wilding refuses to leave her homestead, despite the ravages of drought and relentless dust storms plaguing the Kansas plains. The competing influence of a local pastor and a helpful stranger plant seeds of doubt about her decision. With her husband away looking for work, the elements and poverty threaten to overcome her resolve to stand firm, especially when her wealthy estranged sister from New York surprises her with a visit. The sisters must work together to answer the challenges of living in the dust bowl years. Courage and surrender build in both their hearts, while the ultimate test makes each of them face what really matters in life.
Clarissa Wilding and her family have just arrived at the train station in Kennewick, Washington. Their decision to move from the drought and dust storms on the Kansas plains seemed like a good one, until Clarissa sees her husband Frank embrace his half-brother William—the man who has offered them the chance to start fresh on his vineyard.
Clarissa knows this man, but by a different name. And it is obvious that William also recognizes her, though he says nothing of their past together.
The Wilding family settles into a cottage on the farm. Frank is thrilled to be back on a productive farm, having lost their crops to the relentless dust storms back home. He is anxious to rekindle his relationship with his brother, but doesn’t understand Clarissa’s resistance to William. Frank is eager to learn the grape and fruit growing business and hopes his work ethic will please his brother. But he is disturbed to see that William has not held on to the Christian teachings of their mother, but instead is angry and resentful of his drunken father, Frank’s step-father.
Both parents are deceased, but unpleasant memories linger for both Frank and William, even after William explains he changed his name to be rid of his father’s reputation.
Clarissa cruelly discovers that you cannot always escape your past. A clandestine meeting is about to test her faith, and expose secrets that could challenge her marriage.
Will Clarissa and her husband cling to God’s promise for a new beginning? Or be destroyed by tragedies and trials.
my point of view:
Bonus review post today – two books for the ‘price’ of one, lol! Honestly, these two stories combine for one of the best reads I have had in a while! 1935 Kansas during the drought seems like a very sad time, indeed, and Jan Cline brings this era to life vividly in Heaven’s Sky. I admit, it is a period of history I truly knew very little about, but I have learned quite a bit from this story, to the point it even had me googling the dust storms and hardships people faced then.
What really got to me was how Clarissa was so determined to stay ‘planted’ in Kansas through everything, even her husband leaving to try and find work. I was honestly a little frustrated with her in the beginning….but it was definitely worth continuing the story! When her sister Treena shows up along with a drifter, Elijah, the story takes on a whole new level for me. Elijah reminds me there are angels placed here on earth for a season in our lives – just when we need them the most! I have always considered myself a fairly independent woman, and reading how Clarissa and Treena learn to deal with such difficult circumstances to prevail in the end was absolutely inspiring.
While Heaven’s Sky had a lovely ending, I could not wait to dive right in to The Pruning, for these character’s were quickly finding a place in my heart. Little did I know just how embedded they would become! This second book takes on a whole different set of problems, ones I could not have imagined while reading the first book! Life in Washington State is a definite reprieve from the dust storms, but there is a whole other storm a brewing with Clarissa’s inner circle.
There is a lot more suspense in this story, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I don’t want to give too much away of the details, but let me tell you this much – I adore Frank. He is probably one of the best male character’s I have come across in Christian Fiction, he absolutely touched my heart! Keep reading to the end of the post to see how to enter for a chance to win a copy of EACH of these stories in ebook versions!
Jan is an author and speaker from the Pacific Northwest. She is a former writer’s conference director and speaks at writer’s conferences and writer’s groups in the region. Her love for history and writing combine to bring the stories of America’s past to life in the women’s fiction genre. She is passionate about researching, and the travel it requires to learn about the interesting places and people in her stories.
Jan enjoys golf, crafts, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Jan’s website: https://jancline.net (sign up for her newsletter and receive a free short story)
You can also see info on Jan’s speaking topics on her website.
Social Media links:
Facebook: Jan Cline Author
Other books by Jan:
Emancipated Heart, a novel
A Heart Out of Hiding, a women’s self-help book
Heaven’s Sky, book 1 of the American Dreams series novels
Jan Cline is so generous to offer a giveaway ebook version of BOTH stories to one of our amazing readers! Simply comment on this post and tell us what your favorite season is! Contest will be open for one week from publication of this post and winner will be notified via email.