After being jilted by the important congressman she assumed she would marry, Sophia made plans to go to the mission field, fully expecting to be sent to China. To her surprise, she found herself on the way to a Ponca Indian reservation in the Dakota Territory. Descended from Russian nobility, Sophia was unaccustomed to the primitive living conditions she found there but determined to make the best of her situation. She soon learned that nothing was as she had been told and she witnessed the appalling treatment of the Indians and repeated broken promises from the government. She grew to care for the Indian children she taught and their families but only Will Dunn, the agency carpenter seemed to share her concerns.

“Through Rushing Water” is a near epic story that depicts a shameful period of our country’s history and the shameful disregard for the Indians. It is also a story of a tiny group of men and women who stood up for what was right despite the overwhelming odds against them.

With its beautifully descriptive prose, a well-paced plot, and strong primary characters who grew in both maturity and their faith, “Through Rushing Water” was a thoroughly satisfying novel. The story has just the right balance of drama, suspense, romance, and humor and is enhanced by a strong spiritual message. “Through Rushing Water” is a must read for historical fiction lovers.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publisher’s BookSneeze program.


Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.

Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.

With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.

It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.


Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.

For more about Catherine, please visit