Taking place in the author’s home state of Texas, The River Girl’s Song follows Zillia Bright, a sixteen year old orphan that has been left to care for her baby brother while also trying to manage her deceased father’s farm. Zillia’s world is beset by danger, especially for a lone young woman in the 1800s, but with help from God, her friends, and a 100 year old shotgun, Ms. Bright rises to the occasion and confronts her new responsibilities with faith and courage.
The River Girl’s Song is an excellent Christian novel for those seeking to read a story with a strong female character. Christian book review sources agree that Zillia is well-rounded, admirable character. The first third of the book delves deeply into the depressing and challenging state of Zillia’s life, which some readers may find off-putting, but the rest of the story offers a message of hope that is sure to resonate with readers struggling to maintain faith in the face of adversity. Zillia’s changing fortunes are a profound example of the power of prayer, and while her walk with God is beset by many challenges, the heroine walks away with a deeper understanding of God’s love. Zillia is brave, intelligent, a loyal friend, and a faithful woman of God, which a Christian audience should find both appealing and inspirational for their own spiritual growth.
While the book contains some elements of romance, it isn’t a focus of the novel, which may disappoint some readers. However, given the character’s age at the start of the novel, it’s understandable that the author would not incorporate this element until Zillia reaches adulthood. In this regard, The River Girl’s Song handles romance in a way that squares with Christian values. Furthermore, it allows the book to focus more on Zillia’s personal struggles and walk with God, allowing for a more focused and poignant spiritual lesson.
All told, The River Girl’s Song has much to offer readers, including:
- A positive role model for Christian women
- The importance and power of faith in times of struggle
- The extent of God’s love and his promises to Christians
However, some readers may be put off by:
- An initially difficult, depressing plot
- Lack of romance often featured in the genre
- Proofreading issues/typos
If readers are willing to look past the mostly minor critiques from reviewers, what awaits them is a well-researched piece of historical fiction with an inspiring protagonist and a story the reaffirms God’s love and the power of having faith in Him.