Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Lukes Legacy reviewed by fran lewis
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Stand inside the middle of a circle and look around at all of the family members standing along side of you. Look into their eyes; remember their smiles, faces and the expressions. Cherish this moment and never forget it. Family is precious and sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring us back into the fold and into that inner or inside circle. From the author of Elk’s Resolve comes Luke’s Legacy the third in the Nan’s Heritage Series as we revisit with Nan, Fred, June, Sally, Luke and Purdy that they start on many new journeys, meet different people and one young man will learn what happens when you decide to leave that inner circle and go off in a new direction.
Luke and Purdy were best friends. Luke wanted adventure and find his own way. Purdy wanted to go to California hoping to find her real mother and the truth about why she abandoned her. What they do find and learn will transform their lives at times tear them apart inside and hopefully bring them back to the original inner circle. When the story opens we learn that Purdy and Luke have married and are going off on their own journey. As Purdy is adjusting to married life and living alongside many in a wagon train headed for California, Luke goes off with a friend and when he returns things drastically change. Wounded and seriously injured Purdy does more than any 15 year old girl would be capable of doing today, caring for him, tending to his wounds day and night, dealing the oxen, horses and preparing food for herself, Luke and his friend’s mother. George and Luke had gone off together and George did not survive. Purdy took the role of friend and young daughter to George’s mother and the end result will bring a smile to your face and renew your faith in people and love.
Hardworking, independent financially and in other ways, Purdy does her best to care for Luke but to no avail. Luke begins questioning his motives for marrying her and realizes that he wants more out of life and he is not sure that includes Purdy. When the head of the wagon train brings him a letter from his parents things would never be the same for him or for Purdy.
Meet, Ruby, Luke’s sister. She is headstrong, in love with Andy and thinks her life would be better married to this young man and runs away with him. Never thinking about how they would live, not realizing that he was gone for long periods of time, Ruby learns early on how to fend for herself. But, when Andy returns and she hears him speaking to a doctor about her and wanting to do away with their unborn child, she does what any mother would do, escapes and hopes to find freedom and help somewhere else. Meeting a kind a caring Mexican family allowed Ruby to get stronger and hopefully find her way back to Nan and Fred her parents who were worried, terrified and were praying for her but somehow knew that would not bring her back. Sending her brother Elmer to search for Ruby would bring to light many other issues that families face and change things for both Nan and Fred forever.
Caring for herself was difficult. Caring for an unborn child even more. Andrew James, the man she ran away with is a liar, scoundrel and married to another woman who was rich and could give him the luxuries he thought he deserved. She could not give him the undying love he would get from Ruby. Leaving her alone without food and returning to her, he never considers the end result and Ruby is the one who ultimately suffers and pays the price. Searching for a settlement that she was directed to Ruby falls prey to illness and cannot go on for very long.
As the story continues we revisit with Nan and Fred and we learn more about the girls that were rescued in Elk’s Resolve from prostitution and we meet Moses the man who saved Miranda and find out that he just might be reunited with his long lost wife as the story continues and my review of this inspiration, instructional and outstanding novel continues. Once again author Elaine Littau penned a story that reaches back in time when many people were trying to find new places to settle, when others just wanted to live and survive and one family learns the true meaning of God, prayer and unity. But, there are many hard lessons that have to be learned, lies that will be uncovered and deceits and trickery intertwined as Purdy learns many hard lessons before all is said and done and Luke reflects on his decisions and must decide where his life belongs and with who.
One letter, as I stated would change the dynamics of Luke and Purdy’s lives. Finding out that his sister, Ruby ran away from home he leaves Purdy with the wagon train, not considering her feelings and abandons her to go and find his sister. Never thinking to tell her and leaving it to strangers to relate the message and the one who does, has other ideas in mind for Purdy. Not able to read she is at the mercy of others and has to believe what they tell her. That would soon change.
Purdy is not one to sit back and do nothing. She is not one to feel sorry for herself. Joining another wagon train she befriends a wonderful woman named Molly and her husband Horace and together they form a close bond. Meanwhile, Nan and Fred learn Ruby’s fate and have to deal with their loss. When Luke returns home what he finds is not the warm welcome he expected. Nan and Fred remind him of his responsibility to his wife and send him back to Purdy. Unhappy, wanting more out of life and not really believing in God, prayer and his parent’s beliefs, Luke heads back to where he thinks Purdy is and what he learns will either bring them together or permanently tear them apart.
Within this story there are several subplots that must be brought to light by this reviewer. Purdy when she finally does get to California meets her real mother and this is one encounter you will have to read for yourself as the author once again reinforces the fact that Purdy is strong, withstands adversity and is not easily fooled. Befriended by a young man named Abe, who is trying to win her away from Luke, thinking that he can convince her to be his wife and playing on the fact that Luke is gone, does not change her direction in life nor what she wants. Abe has his own real thoughts for Purdy and his connection to her real mother will not bring joy to anyone’s life and will definitely endanger hers.
Purdy is not only smart but a great businesswoman too. Losing one thing but not others, she forges ahead, faces many hard times but in the end will she and Luke find their way back to each other. Luke falls prey to illness on his journey to finding Purdy. What or who will give him the strength to go on?
A story so powerful, so well told that everyone needs to read this with their families to understand how precious family love and support is. Nan and Fred are two people that you immediately love and can identify with as smart, nurturing parents who want their children to be independent, find their own way but always be part of their family and inner circle.
An ending that will definitely surprise the reader. One young girl named Purdy who is more than just a young 15 year old. One girl named Ruby who would give her family a precious gift and that keep her memory alive forever. Luke’s Legacy: A must read for everyone. Love, friendships, loyalty, deceptions and lies are revealed. Truths be told but the story does not end here as Nan and Fred find a suitcase belonging to her mother and the story will come full circle in the final book: Timothy’s Home when we hope all of the pieces will fit together. Find your own inner circle and decide on your destiny of legacy. Family is important and this book came to me at the right time. I just lost my mom and my sister. This family reminds the reader of how important it is to keep your faith and continue on. Thank you for giving me the honor of reading and reviewing this inspirational novel.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
I give this book: FIVE PURDIES