Walk the Promise Road
By Anne Schroeder
Anne Schroeder has written a well-researched historical novel set on the Oregon Trail in 1848. Walk the Promise Road is full of authentic detail, young wisdom, and amazing courage. It is brimming with the good-hearted, hard-working values of another time, a time when neighborly kindness thrived, a time when a neighbor’s help might mean the difference between life or death.
Mary Rodgers loses her mother, father, and brother to the flu. All she has left is her cousin, Philip, who plans to leave on a wagon train for Oregon to meet his finance. After her family is buried, Mary faces the grim prospects of running the family farm by herself or marrying a neighbor who she has no interest in. Not wanting to be left alone in her parents’ empty house, Mary asks Philip to take her along. He says no, that two single people traveling together would be improper. Mary doesn’t give up easily, and comes up with the plan that they would pose as a married couple. Finally, Philip agrees and swears her to secrecy about the pretend marriage, a heavy burden when Mary falls for the trail guide, Luke Sayer.
In spite of the grief over the loss of her family, Mary consistently contributes to the success of the trip through hard work, genuine concern, and true friendship. She faces the many trail hardships with courage and determination. Even with the tragic losses in Mary’s life and the hardships of the trail, Walk The Promise Road has a kind, gentle quality to it. Ms. Schroeder has written a delightful and inspirational story. I could easily imagine myself on the trail. I wanted to be there on that trail, walking beside the wagon train. The story made me want to live better, to be a better person. Walk the Promise Road is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. I highly recommend it.