Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.
Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.
With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.
It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
While reading the first few pages, I had a little trouble getting into the story; however, after the first chapter or two, I changed my mind. I liked the way the Ponca worked their way into Sophia's heart. Of course, this started with the children she taught. I also liked the way Sophia stood up for the Ponca as a whole, not just the children that she fell in love with.
I've always felt the Indians were cheated, treated very unfair and of course in this story, that's true also in the way the government sent cheap material, not enough supplies and spoiled food and that's all before making them move to Indian Territory.
Of course, the ending was perfect with Sophia and Will being re-united with their friends, albeit a year and half after being separated.