20th Century Historical,  Book Reviews,  Inspirational Books,  New Releases,  Reading

Book Review: Rebecca’s Song by Dawn Kinzer



I’ve read all three novels in Dawn Kinzer’s Daughters of Riverton series and enjoyed each one, but for me, Rebecca’s Song stood out as the best. (And how can you not be enthralled by that cover?)

SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the first book of the series, Sarah’s Smile, you might want to skip the next paragraph and go straight to the quote. Counting to three. One…two…three.

In the first book, Rebecca Hoyt is not the nicest person in Riverton. In all fairness, she’s desperate and her mother isn’t the best example of nice. Now, it’s a few years later in Riverton, and Rebecca gets her own story.

Teaching was her life. With no hope of having children of her own, her students had become her family. …

Now almost thirty, and living in a small town, she’d given up on finding love. Over the years, there hadn’t been many suitors after her fiance had broken their engagement. He wanted a family—she couldn’t give him one. Except for her parents and a few friends, God must have decided she’d be better off alone.

Alone—the word and its meaning made her throat suddenly ache as though scraped raw. If she dwelled on it, she’d only feel empty and useless. 

Rebecca’s best friend, Addie Brown, and her husband are killed in a train holdup, leaving their three children orphans whose futures are in the hands of Jesse Rand. Jesse, Addie’s brother and a railroad detective, is consumed with finding the killers of his sister and brother-in-law while trying to adjust to his new role as the children’s guardian.

Rebecca has become a sympathetic character as she deals with the losses of those things she holds dear, allowing the reader to root for her from page one. Her growth from the first book was realistic, provided with reasonable motivation and years of shame and regret.

Poor Jesse. He’s placed between a rock and a hard place when love for the kids and loyalty to his sister leave him wondering how he’s going to house and raise three children in the big city of Chicago and still do a job that requires regular train travel. Although, there was a point in the story where I wanted to wring his fictional neck, it’s easy to feel for him in his predicament—in his loss and need to know that God cares about him.

I completely enjoyed this story of love, loss, infertility, and ultimate hope set in the early twentieth century. Honestly, I don’t have a real negative for you and, if you’ve read my reviews, you know that’s not typical. 🙂 Rebecca’s Song is sweet, well-written, and a satisfying ending to the series. I‘m easily giving it five stars.

What was the last sweet, “feel-good” story you read?



As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.


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