Beneath a Southern Sky – Deborah Raney

Beneath a Southern Sky,” a Christian romantic suspense novel, is the story of Daria, a young woman who is married to Nate Camfield, a missionary serving in a Columbian village. He’s a doctor, and when he learned of conditions in Columbia, he felt called to go there and see what he could do to help the people. Taking his wife and just a few possessions, he’s made himself a home in a small village, finding the people resistant to hearing the gospel, but loving and serving them just the same.

When he’s sent to attend a case of sickness up the river, Daria fears for his safety, but tells herself she’s just being silly. But when reports come back that the doctor has been killed, she feels that her life is completely over. She returns home, and there gives birth to a baby daughter that looks just like Nate.

Time passes and Daria gets a job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, working with Dr. Colson Hunter. He’s a widower, and they have a lot in common. But he’s hiding secrets from his first marriage, and as he gets closer to Daria, he wonders if she’ll turn and run when she hears the truth about him. But there is more truth to be revealed about her, and when it comes out, it could ruin everything for them.

I liked this book and yet I had some issues with it. The suspense was great, the descriptions of Columbia alluring, and the romance was built up nicely. The conclusion was unexpected. I did have a hard time getting to know Daria as a character; she was whiny at the beginning and defensive at the end, and I didn’t feel that I understood her as well as I liked. I also thought it was a contrived plot device to have her discover that she was pregnant just after Nate is killed; it would have worked better if she’d known before he left. Overall, though, I did enjoy the story and I would recommend the read.

(This book was published in 2001 by Waterbrook Press.)

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