The Woman in the Trees by Theoni Bell
Set within the expanses of the American frontier, this story follows Slainie, an inquisitive pioneer girl, whose life is forever transformed when a mysterious seer shows up at her door. Amidst the backdrop of the Civil War, family tragedy, and the nation's most destructive wildfire, Slainie must navigate her rugged pioneer life as she encounters love and loss and comes face to face with the story of America's first approved Marian apparition.
Historical fiction is always such an enjoyable way to learn. And I learned a lot through this book. The Woman in the Trees revolves around a Marian apparition that occurred in Wisconsin during the 1800s. At the time, there were many who did not believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary made an appearance in such an isolated land. However, some did believe Adele Brise’s account, and a chapel was built at the site where devout Catholics would gather and pray.
This fascinating true account is interwoven into a fictional story about a Belgium family who immigrated to Wisconsin searching for a better life. The book follows the life of Slainie, first as a child, then as a teenager, and finally as a young mother. Through Slainie, the reader experiences the difficulties of journeying to America and building a life from nothing. Besides the hardships of immigration, there are other fantastic discussion topics featured in the book such as the struggles of pioneer life, the heartbreak of the Civil War, and of course, Marion visions.
The author did a wonderful job of combining an intriguing fictional story with fascinating real events and individuals, creating a truly inspirational story.
A note from Reviewer:
As a writer and a mother, I’m always searching for wonderful Christian books for teens of all ages. I truly believe one way we can encourage teens in their faith is through fiction with positive messages, embedded in great stories. There are many fantastic Christian and Catholic teen novels out today but they can be hard to find. I’m excited to share some of these books with you. For more book suggestions for the whole family visit my website or join my News, Clues and Reviews updates.