Introduction to No Longer Alone
Manhood arrived prematurely. At the tender age of fifteen, Prentis lost both his father and his confidence that God loved him. He grew up fast after that day, abandoning his education to take on the responsibility and hardship of supporting his mother and siblings.
Now, in Prentis’s twenties, Avery reenters his life. A Sunday School teacher with a passion for learning and theology, she is intelligent with a captivating spirit. Prentis finds her irresistible. The audacity of attempting to court such a woman in no way weakens his resolve. He’s determined to win her heart. But male competition, vicious gossip, Avery’s unspoken fears, and the ruin of his livelihood hinder his efforts. How can Prentis win her? And if he does, how will they overcome their differences, the hard life on the Oklahoma plains, and a world at war?
Set in 1913-1916, No Longer Alone is based on a true story. At the core of this historical novel is a love story that brings to life love’s healing power – both God’s love and human love. The tale also demonstrates the damage that can be done by the Christian church through judgment and harsh treatment of others and how that can impact for life those in vulnerable life situations.
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Featured in Reviews by Peter
Internationally acclaimed book-blog reviewer, Australian Peter Younghusband, features Melinda’s writing and all three of her books, including No Longer Alone. Find Peter’s feature HERE.
L. B. Johnson, Award Winning author of Small Town Roads
Soft stunning and lyrically captivating, “No Longer Alone: Based on a True Story” grabs onto the reader as quickly as a prairie thunderstorm. Avery and Prentis’s journey to love and renewed faith in the days leading up to World War I resonates as much today as it did one hundred years ago. A wonderfully engaging reading complemented by Inman’s vivid depiction of Oklahoma history and richly layered Christian characters.
Katie Andraski, author of The River Caught Sunlight
In No Longer Alone, Melinda Inman imagines what her great grandparents’ early marriage and courtship were like a hundred years ago when men courted women and worked to earn their heart. Set between the Oklahoma Land Rush and the beginnings of World War I, her novel explores how people lived as pioneers who wrestled with the land, the weather and their own history. I cared deeply about Prentis, Avery, their families and even their animals because they were so well drawn.
No Longer Alone is a fast, lyrical read that explores how people on the eve of the Great War worked out their salvation, with as much thought, prayer and angst as we do today. Even though happiness is nearly impossible to write, Inman draws a beautiful portrait of a couple who fall in love and start a happy marriage, that was as refreshing to dive into as mountain lake.
Carol Johnson Parker, Educator
Intriguing Prairie Story
It was a pleasure to read this book from start to finish. Readers who come from a background of the homestead era and prairie farming traditions will recognize this story as an authentic portrayal of the dreams and struggles of a young couple as they forge a life together. The author’s descriptions of everyday life on a farm in the early 20th century are rich in detail. It is as if we were there, witnessing daily occurrences. The conversations in the story come across as genuine and underscore the importance of constant communication in any relationship. One section that was particularly delightful involved the young couple discovering things about each other they didn’t know before they married. So true to life!
The incorporation of historical events lends additional authenticity to the story. It demonstrates how people’s personal lives are affected by both positive and dire circumstances at home as well as on the other side of the world.
The faith element of the story is especially strong. There are many couples who enter into marriage hoping to meld their families’ different religious beliefs into a healthy whole. This is not an easy process, as all of us are influenced by our early experiences. Many families keep the peace on religion by not getting involved in any faith tradition. The author has used Avery and Prentis as models of not giving up on God and seeking a way to live together in faith for the benefit of their future family.
No Longer Alone is an outstanding example of family memories incorporated into an intriguing novel.
Kristin Lewis Robinson, Life Coach, Author
Have you ever read a fictional book where you were drawn into the lives of the characters, and then a few chapters in find yourself contemplating your own responses to life because of how the characters are processing theirs? This book did that. I was drawn into the pain and struggles of Prentis and Avery, each unique, but drawing them toward the Lord as He worked in their lives. The more they contemplated their family responsibilities and issues of faith, the more I loved them for their authentic responses – no platitudes or “Christian-eze”. Avery and Prentis truly grappled with what it meant to be followers of Christ in a family, community, marriage, and church – the everydayness, ups, and downs.
This book stretched me and caused me to laugh, cry, and learn right along with the characters by challenging my heart to seek after what GOD wants for me, my marriage, and the use of my gifts as a Christian woman. Prentis and Avery BECAME real people to me as I turned each page. Well written – characters, history, life events, faith struggles. Biblical truths were realistically applied to all relationships and situations. I want to know what happens next – and so will you when you get to the last page! Yes, there is a sequel coming… how will the war brewing in Europe affect their little farm in Oklahoma?
Karina Herring, Artist, Entrepreneur
Melinda elegantly writes a historical love story all while reminding us that God’s plans are undeniably perfect. In hardship, loss, and joy, His divine provision is a thread that binds us all, regardless of generation or race. A wonderful example of a relationship done well, No Longer Alone is the type of story you want readers to take note of. What more will the characters teach us in the sequel? It will be difficult to wait and find out.
Barb Amstutz, Avid Reader
This is the story of Avery and Prentis and the challenges they encounter on the path of life. These characters are so vividly portrayed that it seems as if you actually know them as you laugh with them and cry with them while following their many and varied activities. The storyline keeps you trying to guess what will happen next as the tale continues. A key element in the story is the relationship between Prentis and God. The story combines personal successes and failures with a religious theme threaded throughout the book. I was touched by the depth of character portrayal of both Avery and Prentis. This book is definitely a 5-star book. Thank you, Melinda Inman, for sharing your storytelling talent with your readers. I do hope there is a sequel coming!