post written by Emma Filbrun
Author: Chautona Havig
Series: Journey of Dreams
Major Themes: Fantasy
Synopsis: Jessa wakes up one morning on the prairie, far from her home in Pittsburgh but in the place she has dreamed of all her life.
I’ve never liked fantasy all that much, but this is the second fantasy novel I’ve read lately by Chautona Havig—and I loved it! I probably wouldn’t have bought this one, because it’s not a genre I normally like, but because I won Prairie in a giveaway, I started reading it—and absolutely loved it! I am a fast reader, and normally read books quickly to find out what happens in the end. It was different, however, with Prairie. I found myself reading slowly, savoring each paragraph, and sometimes rereading sentences or even reading them aloud to myself to really get the meaning. Yes, it’s that good!
As the story opens, Jessa wakes up and finds herself, instead of in her apartment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, under a tree on the open prairie! No buildings are in sight, just the swaying ocean of grass. She recognizes the place immediately; she has always dreamed of just such a place, like she read about in the Little House on the Prairie books. She never imagined actually being there, though! She wanders up and down the hills, through the grass in the hot sun, all day without seeing any evidence of other human beings, until just at dusk she hears someone whistling. After Steve finds her and gives her a drink, he takes her to the nearest farmhouse, where she spends the night.
Jessa is as puzzled by the people she finds herself among as they are puzzled by her. They know nothing about her world, and she knows nothing about theirs. Are they even on the same planet? And how did she get there? Jessa learns to be content with where she is and what happens in her life; she sees other people around her who are not contented. She is as surprised as you will be to learn the results of discontentment.
Jessa learns more and more about being content and waiting on the Lord’s timing for things to happen in her life. She also learns how God loves to fulfill the desires of our heart—even when we don’t know yet that we have a desire! God gives us the desire for good things, and then He gives us those good things.
I thoroughly appreciated the discussions about being contented, and what it really means to be a Christian. One paragraph that really spoke to me had to do with why we don’t learn from other people’s mistakes. One of the men in Prairie is talking; he says,
“Jessa, it’s pride. Why does anyone do anything that others have done wrong? Why don’t the consequences of other’s sin prevent people from making the same mistakes? We’re prideful people. We think we’re above consequences. We’re sinners who won’t acknowledge our frailty.” (quoted by permission from the author)
There is so much truth in this book. I think I ought to reread it every so often!