Saturday, September 11, 2010

Opal by Lauraine Snelling

After the burning of the Dove House, Ruby Torvald married Rand Harrison and moved to his ranch. Ruby's younger sister, Opal, loves ranch life. At 14, she can shoot, rope, train horses and participate in roundup. Unfortunately, a little thing called school keeps getting in her way. One day after leaving school early due to a headache, she decides to take a detour on the way home. It's a decision that changes her life forever. Her friend, Atticus, ends up injured and is taken away from Medora. As she struggles with guilt and uncertainly, she comes to find that she is being shaped by a God who can make her more than a simple ranch hand.

In Opal, the author takes us deeper into the character of Opal Torvald than either of the first two books in the series do. I thought she did a remarkable job of demonstrating the difficulties of Opal's situation and her personal growth without losing all of Opal's childhood innocence. The one thing I did not like about the book was that the author never addressed what Belle's reaction to the burning of the Dove House was. Belle was mentioned several times in the book, but never was her reaction noted. Somehow, I kept expecting it to come, but I got to the end and it never did. Other than that, it was a easy, comforting read. The storyline is actually much more complex than the synopsis above, but for sake of brevity, I gave the broad overview. Several new characters were introduced, including one who is extremely interested in Opal. I think the complexity really drew me in and made it all the more enjoyable.

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