I am always on the lookout for books by new authors so I was glad for the chance to read Spring for Susannah, Catherine Richmond’s very first published novel. A historical romance set in Dakota territory, the story chronicles the experiences of a mail order bride and her new husband as they attempt to build a life together in their little sod home.

Both Susannah and Jesse had preconceived ideas about what their marriage would be but their expectations were slow to be realized. Jesse had looked forward to a wife who would be a companion to take away some of the loneliness of the long Dakota winters. What he got was a shy silent one who seemed to be afraid of him. Susannah had difficulty believing that anyone could possibly care for her and lived in fear that Jesse would send her away. As time passed, the couple grew to know each other better and love blossomed between them but they each had insecurities that prevented them from recognizing it. One disaster after another tested their endurance and their faith.

Spring for Susannah was a delight. Richmond’s characters were well developed and I cared about what happened to them. I could imagine myself there with them as I read the vivid descriptions of  settings and events. Intimate moments between Susannah and Jesse were natural and tasteful. A spiritual message was woven naturally and unobtrusively throughout.

I look forward to future novels from Catherine Richmond and would recommend Spring for Susannah to all who enjoy Christian historical fiction.

A digital copy of this book was provided for review by BookSneeze.



When Susannah goes to Dakota territory as a mail-order bride she finds something she never dreamed she would—true love.

With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Underhill agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister’s homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn’t see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.

In spite of her petite size and the fact that Susannah doesn’t look like she could survive on the prairie, Jesse quickly discovers that his new wife is a greater blessing than he even hoped for. The years she spent as her father’s veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse’s ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.

But Susannah’s feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can’t believe that Jesse’s praise—or the tenderness and love he shows—could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.

Read an excerpt from Spring for Susannah HERE.


Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist until 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 Novelists critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.