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A Woman Named Damaris

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She was almost fifteen on the night she dared for the first time to think of what life might be like away from home. Pa again had come home drunk and mean; the trauma of the subsequent scene had been repeated as long as Damaris could remember. The idea that she no longer needs to tolerate this, that maybe she's old enough to manage on her own, is planted in her mind and be She was almost fifteen on the night she dared for the first time to think of what life might be like away from home. Pa again had come home drunk and mean; the trauma of the subsequent scene had been repeated as long as Damaris could remember. The idea that she no longer needs to tolerate this, that maybe she's old enough to manage on her own, is planted in her mind and begins to grow. She must plan her escape carefully, but she must get away from him. When the opportunity comes, Damaris carries with her the strength of her mother's love. Two treasures hidden for years from her father- her grandmother's lacy golden brooch and her grandfather's lovely watch- are Damaris' only legacy from her past. That and her name. Her mother said it came from the Bible and had a special meaning that she can't remember anymore. What difference might it make? But Damaris can't escape the "aloneness" that haunts her life or the bitterness she feels when she sees others suffering, particularly children. Ultimately, she must come to terms with her past, learn to live in her present circumstances, and trust her future to another Father. She Discovered Much More Than the Meaning of Her Name in That Book


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She was almost fifteen on the night she dared for the first time to think of what life might be like away from home. Pa again had come home drunk and mean; the trauma of the subsequent scene had been repeated as long as Damaris could remember. The idea that she no longer needs to tolerate this, that maybe she's old enough to manage on her own, is planted in her mind and be She was almost fifteen on the night she dared for the first time to think of what life might be like away from home. Pa again had come home drunk and mean; the trauma of the subsequent scene had been repeated as long as Damaris could remember. The idea that she no longer needs to tolerate this, that maybe she's old enough to manage on her own, is planted in her mind and begins to grow. She must plan her escape carefully, but she must get away from him. When the opportunity comes, Damaris carries with her the strength of her mother's love. Two treasures hidden for years from her father- her grandmother's lacy golden brooch and her grandfather's lovely watch- are Damaris' only legacy from her past. That and her name. Her mother said it came from the Bible and had a special meaning that she can't remember anymore. What difference might it make? But Damaris can't escape the "aloneness" that haunts her life or the bitterness she feels when she sees others suffering, particularly children. Ultimately, she must come to terms with her past, learn to live in her present circumstances, and trust her future to another Father. She Discovered Much More Than the Meaning of Her Name in That Book

30 review for A Woman Named Damaris

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Keels

    At nearly fifteen years old, Damaris has never known a life other than the hard one she lives with her downtrodden mother and a father who's addicted to liquor. When her mother hints at the idea of escape, Damaris dares to think of striking out on her own to head west in A Woman Named Damaris by author Janette Oke. Gee. I was a good deal younger the first time I read this ChristFic novel from one of my (sentimentally) favorite series, Women of the West. Now that I've reread it in a much different At nearly fifteen years old, Damaris has never known a life other than the hard one she lives with her downtrodden mother and a father who's addicted to liquor. When her mother hints at the idea of escape, Damaris dares to think of striking out on her own to head west in A Woman Named Damaris by author Janette Oke. Gee. I was a good deal younger the first time I read this ChristFic novel from one of my (sentimentally) favorite series, Women of the West. Now that I've reread it in a much different stage of my life, the effects of alcoholism and abuse in the story hit me in a different way. Just...gee. Now, apart from Damaris's initial courage to leave home, her quiet and timid personality is pretty lackluster, even considering her background. As is the case in a lot of this author's novels, there's too much halting speech from the characters, with sentences constantly broken up by multiple dashes. (Perhaps that issue is cleaned up in the latest editions of the novels?) Because a key theme in the story could have used a bit more development, it might send an inadvertent message that it's sinful to think of fighting back against an abuser. Also, some key plot points and people are introduced so late in this story that it dulls their emotional effect. Damaris cries an awful lot toward the end, but I couldn't feel those tears with her. Still, I never forgot the significance of this book's title, which was a pleasure to see unfold again. Revisiting this rather simple novel was straight-up comfort reading for me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    This is an amazingly woven story of a young woman's journey to find love, self-worth, and that Something More that's sorely missing from her life. It was such a lovely story and so sweetly told. :) I enjoyed it immensely and I would recommend it to anyone! One of my favorite of Janette Oke's books! :) This is an amazingly woven story of a young woman's journey to find love, self-worth, and that Something More that's sorely missing from her life. It was such a lovely story and so sweetly told. :) I enjoyed it immensely and I would recommend it to anyone! One of my favorite of Janette Oke's books! :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Allison C

    I really enjoy Janette Oke's books, but some of the dialogue is kind of difficult to follow. Her main characters tend to stutter their way through the story, which can get a bit annoying. I really enjoy Janette Oke's books, but some of the dialogue is kind of difficult to follow. Her main characters tend to stutter their way through the story, which can get a bit annoying.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bennett

    It took me a while to actually get around to reading this book (it's been on my bookcase for weeks) but I'm so glad I did. It's a simple read, and I finished it within two days. A nice, quick, christian read with a hint of romance (I wanted them to get together the moment he walked through the door), this was the perfect book when you want to relax with a book in hand. It took me a while to actually get around to reading this book (it's been on my bookcase for weeks) but I'm so glad I did. It's a simple read, and I finished it within two days. A nice, quick, christian read with a hint of romance (I wanted them to get together the moment he walked through the door), this was the perfect book when you want to relax with a book in hand.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Excel Andy

    A woman named Damaris is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the first three books. This is one of my favourite book by Janette Oke. I read it many years ago when I was younger. This book was sitting in my ebook library so I had to revisit it again. It felt good reading it and I enjoyed it more this time around. It has 24 chapters. Each page is attention grabbing and interesting. I love Damaris. What a young lady she is! You need to read this book. It might be an o A woman named Damaris is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the first three books. This is one of my favourite book by Janette Oke. I read it many years ago when I was younger. This book was sitting in my ebook library so I had to revisit it again. It felt good reading it and I enjoyed it more this time around. It has 24 chapters. Each page is attention grabbing and interesting. I love Damaris. What a young lady she is! You need to read this book. It might be an oldie but it is a goldie! “Oh yes.I have a Bible,I don’t know how I would ever have survived without it”. Miss Dover’s words. I love Miss Dover. She is a good character you need to watch out for in this book. Damaris is a name from the Bible. You might need to read this book to find the exact Bible chapter and verse. This is a clean and enjoyable Christian fiction novel. It will always be among my favourite books. I highly recommend it to everybody especially fans of Janette Oke. This is my honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I read this on a hot day when I found it lying around in my mom's house and had nothing else to do. It was okay, I guess, but I think there were a lot of plot holes. For instance, I think it's very odd that a frontier town that had been in existence for a couple of decades would still have no church. And after Damaris ran away from home, good fortune just seemed to fall into her lap. I don't think it would have been that easy in real life. If you like Christian fiction and prairie type stories, I I read this on a hot day when I found it lying around in my mom's house and had nothing else to do. It was okay, I guess, but I think there were a lot of plot holes. For instance, I think it's very odd that a frontier town that had been in existence for a couple of decades would still have no church. And after Damaris ran away from home, good fortune just seemed to fall into her lap. I don't think it would have been that easy in real life. If you like Christian fiction and prairie type stories, I suppose you would like this. It was a bit too tame for me, though, and the plot too thin.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I had read this book as a kid, and I was wondering if it would hold up 20 years later. Maybe it was nostalgia, but I enjoyed reading it this time too. In this historical fiction novel, Damaris leaves her abusive home at age 15 and heads west. In her new town she pieces together a living working 3 different jobs. She even meets someone who helps her find where the name Damaris appears in the Bible, which was something she had always wanted to know. The book is uneven at times, with Damaris’s jour I had read this book as a kid, and I was wondering if it would hold up 20 years later. Maybe it was nostalgia, but I enjoyed reading it this time too. In this historical fiction novel, Damaris leaves her abusive home at age 15 and heads west. In her new town she pieces together a living working 3 different jobs. She even meets someone who helps her find where the name Damaris appears in the Bible, which was something she had always wanted to know. The book is uneven at times, with Damaris’s journey west taking up a lot of time while the ending is rushed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zoë Rogers

    I absolutely loved this book! Damaris' attitude shows both ways of living with and without Christ Jesus in your life. Without Jesus, Damaris suffered with anger and hatred toward every drunken man she came into contact with. She was also timid and shy. When she accepted Christ and believed every word in the Bible she became happier and more forgiving as time went on. ♡ I absolutely loved this book! Damaris' attitude shows both ways of living with and without Christ Jesus in your life. Without Jesus, Damaris suffered with anger and hatred toward every drunken man she came into contact with. She was also timid and shy. When she accepted Christ and believed every word in the Bible she became happier and more forgiving as time went on. ♡

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

    See review for "A Bride for Donnigan." I accidentally picked these up, not realizing they were xian fiction. If you like boring books, this one is for you! See review for "A Bride for Donnigan." I accidentally picked these up, not realizing they were xian fiction. If you like boring books, this one is for you!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Rose

    I love anything Janette Oke. :) This book was no exception.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    This was a really quick read. I actually started and finished it yesterday evening. Took me maybe two hours at the most. I have mixed feelings about Janette Oke's work. Some of her stuff I've been hooked into but a lot of it, not. Yet I find myself occasionally picking up her books. This one wasn't the worst I've read, but it wasn't the best. I felt like it was a little scattered with what it was trying to do. Was it a story of a girl finding faith? Sort of, but I didn't think it was very well d This was a really quick read. I actually started and finished it yesterday evening. Took me maybe two hours at the most. I have mixed feelings about Janette Oke's work. Some of her stuff I've been hooked into but a lot of it, not. Yet I find myself occasionally picking up her books. This one wasn't the worst I've read, but it wasn't the best. I felt like it was a little scattered with what it was trying to do. Was it a story of a girl finding faith? Sort of, but I didn't think it was very well developed. Was it the story of a girl overcoming her fear of men and finding love? Maybe. But, again, it wasn't well developed either. I also felt like there were some things just left unfinished. (view spoiler)[The Brown family just completely disappeared. It's mentioned that they haven't come to the store in a long time and then we never hear from them again. I understand that's how real life works sometimes, but this is a book. (hide spoiler)] I also felt like Miss What's Her Name (Oh goodness, I just finished this and I've already forgotten her name) the seamstress was kind of a wasted character. I mean, she starts off strong and then just kind of disappears during the end of the book and does nothing which in some ways doesn't seem like it would be in her character. Also, why is there no church in this town? I feel like that was one thing pretty much every frontier town had. I kept waiting for Oke to pick up on one of the threads and go somewhere with it, but it just never quite happened. Okay, so maybe Gil will start a church? Maybe Damaris will finally confront her Father? (view spoiler)[Even the writing of the letter to her mother was disappointing. I was hoping to hear more about how they were doing, but nope. Not important apparently. (hide spoiler)] All in all, I don't recommend this book and if it had taken me any longer to read, I might've felt cheated of my time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    I think out of the four books I've read so far in Women of the West series that I enjoyed this book the most. I love that Jeanette Oke has taken a situation that was bad at the beginning and by the end of the book has turned it to a happy situation. I loved the ending because I had hopped it would be uplifting and I wasn't disappointed. I also enjoy reading stories that are historical and from the mid to late 1800s. I loved the simple and less complicated lifestyle of the people back when horse I think out of the four books I've read so far in Women of the West series that I enjoyed this book the most. I love that Jeanette Oke has taken a situation that was bad at the beginning and by the end of the book has turned it to a happy situation. I loved the ending because I had hopped it would be uplifting and I wasn't disappointed. I also enjoy reading stories that are historical and from the mid to late 1800s. I loved the simple and less complicated lifestyle of the people back when horse and wagon was the only mode of transportation available. Wagon trains were slowly becoming a thing of the past with the railroad and trains taking over. I do enjoy reading a good wagon train story and I was really drawn into this story. . Readers of Historical Romance and fans of Jeanette Oke will enjoy this book. It is book four in The Women of the West series but it can be read as a stand alone. I borrowed this book from the Hoopla Library therefore a review was not requested. All opinions expressed here are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Monique Cameron

    Damaris is a young girl with a loving unselfish mother and a drunk abusive fathe. At fifteen, she dares to escape with her mother's encouragement. Uneducated and with no experience of the world beyond her tiny village, she finds her way to a small town, nearly starving in the process as she's unable to find steady employment. She agrees to travel with a family on a wagon train, caring for their children until they arrive at their destination. Initially unwilling to accept her, the leader respect Damaris is a young girl with a loving unselfish mother and a drunk abusive fathe. At fifteen, she dares to escape with her mother's encouragement. Uneducated and with no experience of the world beyond her tiny village, she finds her way to a small town, nearly starving in the process as she's unable to find steady employment. She agrees to travel with a family on a wagon train, caring for their children until they arrive at their destination. Initially unwilling to accept her, the leader respects her hard work and diligence and ensures that she will be helped to find work. She demonstrates outstanding compassion to a family of orphans. Her biggest obstacle is the belief that all men are like her father, having had no other experience of men. This book reminds me of many I've read by Grace Livingston Hill. The heroine is strong and courageous, someone I can empathize with and admire.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Clark

    I've read the book before, but it's an easy read, and sometimes I just want to fall into an easy story. It's been so long that I forgot what this story was about, but I am fascinated how the author can write from the perspective of a non-believer... that doesn't seem to change. The woman she uses as a main character never learned from the Good Book, nor heard the Good News about Jesus. Damaris' father like to drink, and was not very kind to her or her mother. At 15 (or 14?), she leaves home and I've read the book before, but it's an easy read, and sometimes I just want to fall into an easy story. It's been so long that I forgot what this story was about, but I am fascinated how the author can write from the perspective of a non-believer... that doesn't seem to change. The woman she uses as a main character never learned from the Good Book, nor heard the Good News about Jesus. Damaris' father like to drink, and was not very kind to her or her mother. At 15 (or 14?), she leaves home and joins a wagon train west, helping a woman care for her children. At the end of the trail, she finds three jobs to help her earn her keep and starts settling in. She begins to learn about God and Jesus through one of the jobs, and the help of the woman who pays her to sew. I feel like the only thing missing is more about the woman who Damaris always sees being mean...

  15. 4 out of 5

    DeeJade Barba

    I was working at a public library when I first stumbled upon this book. I was surprised, amazed, and was in awe. First, I finally found a book with MY NAME on it. Well, aside from the Bible, that is. Then as I've read it through multiple times (16th times to be exact), I can't believe how much Damaris' story actually resonate to mine. We basically share the same story line minus the adopting kids and marrying Finnick. I was working at a public library when I first stumbled upon this book. I was surprised, amazed, and was in awe. First, I finally found a book with MY NAME on it. Well, aside from the Bible, that is. Then as I've read it through multiple times (16th times to be exact), I can't believe how much Damaris' story actually resonate to mine. We basically share the same story line minus the adopting kids and marrying Finnick.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Kopp

    This is probably my favorite book I’ve ever read. It’s moral being of bitterness, forgiveness, and trusting in the Lord, I find it touches me time and time again. Though Damaris’s situation is different than my own, I can still apply the things she did to my life and her heart for the young children makes my heart warm every time I read it. I’ve probably read this book at least five times, but I will never tire of it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    For book club this month, a woman who owns every Janette Oke book had each of us pick one of her books. Then we all reported on the book we read, at our book club meeting. I read this sweet pioneer story. Though I rarely choose "fluff" books like this one, I appreciate how Oke's books are so clean and have heartwarming story lines (usually including a sweet romance). For book club this month, a woman who owns every Janette Oke book had each of us pick one of her books. Then we all reported on the book we read, at our book club meeting. I read this sweet pioneer story. Though I rarely choose "fluff" books like this one, I appreciate how Oke's books are so clean and have heartwarming story lines (usually including a sweet romance).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebeca

    4.5 if there were half stars. Just like a lot of Oke's books in this series, it feels unfinished. There were subplots and characters we met for whom there was no closure. They just all of a sudden weren't mentioned any longer. This book is a good read, especially for anyone who grew up in or has had to deal with physical, mental, emotional, and verbal abuse in the home. 4.5 if there were half stars. Just like a lot of Oke's books in this series, it feels unfinished. There were subplots and characters we met for whom there was no closure. They just all of a sudden weren't mentioned any longer. This book is a good read, especially for anyone who grew up in or has had to deal with physical, mental, emotional, and verbal abuse in the home.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    Literary candy, but so sweet and enjoyable. Janette Oke is predictable. I knew Damaris would get married, and I knew when he appeared in the story line. But her books are always enthralling, relaxing and good clean romance.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Addie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A story about a girl who looks for her name in the Bible, only to find it's mentioned in passing in one line. She's disappointed that there's no more mentioned about her namesake, but finds a way to become a woman mentioned at all in scripture as she lives a life of trials & triumphs. A story about a girl who looks for her name in the Bible, only to find it's mentioned in passing in one line. She's disappointed that there's no more mentioned about her namesake, but finds a way to become a woman mentioned at all in scripture as she lives a life of trials & triumphs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Not usually a fan of Christian books (they tend to be a bit too cheesy) but this was a good one! Enjoyable story about a young girl starting a new life on her own. The last quarter of the book wasn't my favorite, but it was a good ending. Not usually a fan of Christian books (they tend to be a bit too cheesy) but this was a good one! Enjoyable story about a young girl starting a new life on her own. The last quarter of the book wasn't my favorite, but it was a good ending.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vkcrochet

    Janette Oke writes books that speak to me in such encouraging ways. "A Woman Name Damaris" does not disappoint in this. I identify so much with this character that feels consistently that she does not do enough. I pray I can learn the lesson she learns in this heart-touching story. Janette Oke writes books that speak to me in such encouraging ways. "A Woman Name Damaris" does not disappoint in this. I identify so much with this character that feels consistently that she does not do enough. I pray I can learn the lesson she learns in this heart-touching story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Jacobs

    Beautiful!! I love her books. I'm a writer and I'm hoping my books will be as good as hers one day. :) Beautiful!! I love her books. I'm a writer and I'm hoping my books will be as good as hers one day. :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathi Olsen

    An engaging story about a young girl who escapes home at 14 and finds a way west to become a strong, caring faithful woman. Finds happiness in the unexpected by the end of the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    Another good book by Jeanette If you love Pioneer stories, you will love her books. This is a good stand alone book you must read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This was the last book of four in this series. They were all worth reading!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Tye

    Janette Oke is a master of bringing scriptural truths to light without sounding preachy. Sweet story that tugged at my heartstrings.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Great Made me cry

  29. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Widener

    I loved this book!! I enjoyed the way the characters were developed and loved the story line!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Suzy Seerden

    A nice story with lots of fear, crying and overcoming the fear and forgiving even though it's hard!!! Of course finding love too:) A great Christian read 4/5 stars A nice story with lots of fear, crying and overcoming the fear and forgiving even though it's hard!!! Of course finding love too:) A great Christian read 4/5 stars

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