Reclaimed by Jennifer Rodewald – Book Review, Preview

Posted August 15, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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“Reclaimed water. Do not drink!” I’ve seen this warning in multiple municipal areas and when I do, I hesitate to even get close enough to get sprayed by the flow.

We’ve had electronics that have needed to be repaired during their warranty period and each time have discovered that once that happens, the warranty period is now changed to be only a month or two, regardless of how long was left on the original warranty.

People are not generally all that good of restoring things that have been broken. Or cleaning things that have been tainted. Once something needs to be “redone” in some way, it is somewhat inferior to what it had been in the past.

Jesus is not like that. He is the mender of the broken. He is the One who can restore our hearts and our lives so they are better than they had been before. He makes all things new.

Reclaimed by Jennifer Rodewald – Book Review, Preview


by Jennifer Rodewald

Series: Rock Creek Romance
Series Rating:
Published by Rooted Publishing
Publication Date September 23, 2015
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance, Western
Setting: Nebraska Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34, 35-60
Written for: Adults
Pages: 348


Land of her own and the love of a good man, and yet she can't let go of the past.

God takes broken things and makes them beautiful again. He reclaims our desolate places.

Suzanna Wilton has had a heavy share of heartache in her twenty-seven years. Left wounded by a marriage cut short, she leaves city life to take up residency in a tiny Nebraska town. Her introduction to her neighbor Paul Rustin is a disaster. Assuming he’s as underhanded as the other local cowboys she’s already met, Suzanna greets him with sharp hostility.

Though Paul is offended by Suzanna’s unfriendliness, he can’t stop thinking about her, which unsettles his peaceful life. Intrigued by the woman who lives down the road and propelled by a sense that she carries a painful burden, he frequently drops by to offer help as she adjusts to rural living.

Just as Paul’s kindness begins to melt Suzanna’s frozen heart, a conflict regarding her land escalates in town. Even in the warmth of Paul’s love, resentment keeps a cold grip on her fragile heart.

When romance isn't enough, will Suzanna ever find peace?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: Ordinary Snowflakes

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Suzanna’s father purchased land that had been destroyed through misuse and was considered worthless. He set about reclaiming and restoring it and through his careful management, he turned it into some of the most valuable and sought-after land in the area.

I loved this book so much!! It is the story of broken people being made whole. Of a patient and enduring love that never gives up and never fails. It is full of hope and has such a peaceful tone despite the turmoil in the lives of the characters and even has appropriate touches of humor throughout. The writing is so good and the dialog is some of the most naturally written that I have read in a book.  It was so clever of the author the way she wove the analogy of broken things being reclaimed and redeemed into the fabric of the book in the many ways that she did.

Paul is now somewhere at the top of my list of favorite heroes. A cowboy with a deep abiding love for his land and his cattle. Swoon! I had never before considered that a rancher might actually care for the individual bovines he owns and would hurt over the pain of the cows when separated from their calves or over the loss of a calf – and not for financial loss.

Having overcome a rough past, he understood redemption in a very personal way. He still wasn’t perfect – the book started out with him making some wrong judgments about what Suzanna was like and he struggled with anger. However, he had an amazing relationship with his family and was a man who knew what he wanted and was willing to do what he had to in order to get it. His tenacious pursuit of Suzanna was a beautiful picture of how Jesus pursues us. Oh, and I kept smiling as his originally derisive nickname of Pickle ended up being an endearment he used in various forms.

True confession. Sometimes when I read a book about a character suffering grief and they keep holding on to their pain, I get frustrated and think, “Can’t she just get a grip and move forward?” I hope this isn’t a lack of compassion on my part and have felt a little like it must be me. Reading Reclaimed where it takes most of the book for Suzanna to heal has shown me I’m not a terrible person. Because I didn’t feel that way at all in this book. I saw the hope and felt great concern for her but I wasn’t frustrated at an attempt by the author to try to convince me how terrible she was feeling because that didn’t happen. Author Jennifer Rodewald did a fantastic job of making sure I saw the deep wounds without making it obnoxious or tiresome.

One of my absolute favorite moments in the book was when Paul and Suzanna were at his river property with his sister and her kids, loading the cattle. He was so overwhelmed with joy that he began to hum “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”. And it turned into a mini-praise session as the family joined in. Wow! How do you not fall in love with a cowboy like that?

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book but it would be silly for me to do that. After all, you should just read it yourself instead of reading my gushing. Go on. Get a copy. What’s stopping you?


About Jennifer Rodewald

Jennifer Rodewald (aka J. Rodes) leans toward raw honesty, and isn’t afraid of dark places, because she knows the Light will always break through. Writing for her is a journey of learning. Life on the plains with her personal superman has been pretty awesome—sprinkled with dark and light places. They have four kids to keep things chaotically interesting, and her favorite advice to them is “to be your best weird self.” Jen’s tendency to be loud—she calls it a blessing to have a “coach’s voice”—is a family trait. Ultimately, she believes Love has conquered all—we just haven’t reached the HEA ending yet.

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