Touching the Sky by Tracie Peterson is not within my usual book repertoire but when I stumbled across it at my local library while looking for a new audiobook, I decided to give it a try. The premise for the story intrigued me, and even though I knew that it was going to have a strong religious background (again not within my usual book repertoire), I still found myself wanting to read it. Lucky for me, I quickly became a fan of the main character, and wanted to see where her journey took her.
The main character is a young woman named Laura Marquardt. She and her family live in Corpus Christi, Texas during the Civil War era. The war has just ended and the Yankees and the Confederates are still at odds with each other. The Marquardt’s feel the tension more than most in the town as they were Yankee supporters during the war. Most of the other families in the area think of them as traitors, and they constantly have to defend themselves against their attackers. This is how Laura meets Brandon Reid. Brandon is a member of the Union army, and comes across Laura as she is being propositioned by two former Confederate soldiers. Their initial meeting is far from pleasant but soon the two of them find their paths crossing again, and realize that they may have more in common than meets the eye.
When Laura overhears her sister Carissa’s Confederate husband Brandon plotting to kill Union soldiers, she knows she should share this information with Brandon but she is hesitant because she doesn’t want to put her sister’s life in jeopardy. She realizes that she has no choice but to reveal what she knows, and is more than surprised when Brandon reveals that he has been assigned to watch the Brandon for the army. Suddenly her heart is very conflicted as all of Brandon’s motives for wanting to be with her are questionable. Laura really wants to trust her heart but, she just doesn’t know if she really can anymore.
I really liked the character of Laura. She was smart and very honest about who she was. She had a good heart and put all of her faith in God. She believes that God will lead her down the proper path and will provide her with the answers that she is so desperately seeking. She isn’t preachy about this though, just very strong in her convictions. Actually the book as a whole isn’t preachy when it comes to religion but it does have a very strong hold in it. All of the characters at one point or another are questioning God, or are asking God to help them through their troubles. For me this wasn’t a distraction but I can see how it would be for someone else.
One of the things I liked about the story was the way that Laura desires to educate the black citizens of Corpus Christi now that they have been freed from slavery. It was really interesting the way that this was approached, and the type of response that she received from outsiders. She really does believe that everyone regardless of their skin color should have the ability to read and write, and she tries to do whatever she can do accomplish that. I also enjoyed how completely supportive Brandon was of this idea. He really was a true gentleman, and he never pressured Laura into anything, and instead was always very supportive and complimentary of her.
The Touching the Sky audiobook is narrated by Renee Raudman. It is read at a smooth pace, and is easily enjoyable. I found myself able to listen to the story while also doing other things without too much distraction. Overall, I am glad that I gave Touching the Sky a chance. Apparently, it is the second in a series of books called Land of the Lonestar which I didn’t realize at first but honestly, it feels as if it can be a stand-a-long book. I may eventually go back and read the first book, and then the third book, when I have time. Hopefully in audio form!
Disclosure: Borrowed from local library
Other Reviews of Touching the Sky by Tracie Peterson
My Cozie Corner: “Recommend for all romance lovers…”
Hesitant Blogger: “Very well done Ms. Peterson!”