Rosa’s Land (Western Justice #1) by Gilbert Morris – Disappointing

cover21607-small(NOTE: This book is not in our Media Center and I have no plans on purchasing it.  I’m just posting this review for anyone who may come across this book and think about purchasing it for themselves.)

This book is about a young man, Lafayette Riordan, living the good life in New York City in 1886.  His father, Caleb, and two older brothers are rough, tough businessmen and when the he was born, Eileen, told her husband “…this son is going to be mine.  I’ll make all the decisions about his school, his clothes.  I’ll raise him to be a gentleman.  You got our two other sons, and you’ve made them hard, callous men.”  So, you see that young “Faye” as she started calling him had no chance but to be a born and bred “mama’s boy”.

Eventually, he did get some backbone in him and learn to ride a horse (a very old, gentle horse) and shoot a gun (small enough for him to handle) and he even took off on an outdoor adventure for a month to see if he could survive in the woods all by himself.  And he did just that.  He finally decides he wants to go out west and become a US Marshal, of all things, and he does go with his mom’s blessings, ha!.  Little did he know that she wrote to Judge Isaac Parker, who was over the marshall’s, asking him “When my son comes to ask you to make him part of your force, agree to take him but give him the most humiliating, dirtiest job you can possibly think of.  Keep him at it, and I’m sure in a short time he’ll become discouraged and change his mind.” But Faye didn’t.  But I’ll tell you, Faye, was just a little bit too good.  He was happy and never complained and did all the dirty work and it was just unbelievable.  Finally, in Chapter 7, we finally meet Rosa, from Mexico, and she moved to Texas to help her uncle and extranged father with their ranch.  Eventually, Faye and Rosa meet and not to give too many “spoilers” I won’t say anything else.

I was very disappointed in this book and really could not believe Gilbert Morris wrote it.  I have not read any of his most current books, but he was one of the first Christian authors I read when I switched from secular to Christian fiction.  I loved his House of Winslow series and Cheney Duvall, M.D. series, and have always wanted to go back and read them again.  But the characters in Rosa’s Land were not developed well, the storyline left me feeling a little dizzy, and the narrative and dialogue was very choppy.  One Amazon reviewer noticed that Faye was in an art gallery making mention of a painting that President Roosevelt liked, but did not buy and with the story line set in 1886 the President was Grover Cleveland, not Roosevelt.  And I noticed that one of the “outlaws” referred to his nasty cabin “Well, it’s not the Waldorf”.  For one thing, I can’t imagine that he would even know anything about such a high society place, and the other thing is that the Waldorf wasn’t opened until 1893.  So unless the time period in this book was not detailed for us, the Waldorf was seven years in the future.

The best thing about this book and the best writing in it, was in Chapter 19 when they were in church listening to one of the best little sermons I’ve read written in a book.  It’s too long to quote, but if you do read this book you’ll be in for a treat by reading this sermon.  Maybe Mr. Morris should write a book of sermons, because he’s obviously very good at it.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from for my honest review.

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