Book Review: Sand Creek Serenade

4 May

One woman with a deep desire to serve and help. One brave who will stop at nothing to save his people. Each willing to die for their beliefs and love for one another. Will their sacrifice be enough?

As a female medical doctor in 1864, Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to tragedy and loss. While she grapples with the difficulties of practicing medicine at a Colorado outpost, she learns that finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wants peace between his people and the American Army. But a chance encounter with their female doctor ignites memories from his upbringing among the whites … along with a growing fondness for the one person who seems to understand him and his people. As two cultures collide with differing beliefs of right and wrong, of what constitutes justice and savagery, blood spills on the Great Plains. When the inevitable war reaches Fort Lyon, the young couple’s fledgling love is put to the test.

Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has won five writing competitions and finaled in two other competitions. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite — a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenaged son, and four fur children.


My Impressions:

Sand Creek Serenade is a book for those who love romance fiction set in the old West. Using real events, Jennifer Uhlarik lays the foundation for a story that brings the historical record to life. Historic details and figures bring an authenticity to the novel that took this reader back in time. Recommended reading!

The two main characters in Sand Creek Serenade, Five Kills and Sadie Hoppner, could not be more different. They are also unique for the time period in which the book is set. Five Kills is the product of the union of a white man and a Native American woman. He is uneasy in both worlds. Sadie is a doctor in a time when women were very rare in that profession. They meet in the days leading up to the Sand Creek Massacre, a new-to-me event that was both fascinating and heartbreaking. Their love story seems doomed from the very beginning as they face cultural obstacles from both worlds from which they come. For fans of romance, there are some sparks and some sizzle in their relationship. There is also a deep spiritual thread that is unusual, and gave this reader a lot to think about. Really there are so many unusual aspects to this book — a nice departure from formulaic romances.

So if you like complex characters, interesting historical settings, and spiritual food for thought, then Sand Creek Serenade is a book for you.


Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the author and JustReadTours for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)