Darlene Franklin. Lone Star Trail. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2011.
I would like to thank Moody Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book. See here for Moody’s page about it.
Lone Star Trail is part of the Texas Trails series, also known as the Morgan Family Series. This series focuses on the Morgan family in nineteenth century Texas. The books are connected with each other, yet each of them can be read alone, without knowledge of the other books. Lone Star Trail is about Jud Morgan. Jud’s brother Calder was the father of Raleigh, who is one of the main characters in Vickie McDonough’s Long Trail Home.
In Lone Star Trail, Jud Morgan is upset because German immigrants are settling in Texas. Their language and customs are different from his own, and he believes that they are trying to fashion Texas in their own image. Due to a series of events, a German family, the Fleischers, ends up staying with the Morgans, and Jud is somewhat attracted to Wande, who is part of that German family. As far as I could see, Jud in the book never has a dramatic epiphany in which he concludes that his prejudice is wrong, nor was there a part of the book in which Jud accepted Christ and made a dramatic turnaround in his life. Jud was already a Christian, trying to live according to Christian ethics yet often finding himself getting in the way. Jud’s prejudice was lessened as he spent time with the Fleischers and saw that they were people like him, and that they were hard-working and had integrity. Moreover, the romance between Jud and Wande was very low-key, and the ending of the book was not particularly rosy but highlighted that “The Morgan family would face the future—-together” (page 284). All of these were reasons that I loved this book.
The book has loveable characters (except for Tom Cotton, and there were times when I liked even him). In addition, the church is not prejudiced and welcomes outsiders, as the church should do. If I have a favorite part of the book, it is Jud’s proposal to Wande: “I’m not perfect, and I can’t promise I’ll always say the right thing or do the right thing. But I can promise you that I will always love you…with all my heart” (page 281).