Book Review: Indian Paintbrush (Carson Chronicles Book 3), John A. Heldt

Indian Paintbrush

Summary from Amazon:

Arizona, December 1943. After surviving perilous six-month journeys to 1889 and 1918, the Carsons, five siblings from the present day, seek a respite in their home state. While Adam and Greg settle down with their Progressive Era brides, Natalie and Caitlin start romances with wartime aviators and Cody befriends a Japanese family in an internment camp. The time travelers regroup, bury old ghosts, and continue their search for their missing parents. Then old problems return, new ones emerge, and a peaceful hiatus becomes a race for survival. In INDIAN PAINTBRUSH, the sequel to RIVER RISING and THE MEMORY TREE, seven young adults find love and adventure as they navigate the home front during the height of World War II.


Picking up right where The Memory Tree left off we find the Carsons having just passed through the shimmering sheet of time travel landing in 1944, the height of WWII. This time they spend their time in their home state of Arizona making friends, and falling in love at a time when our country was in the throes of a historic war. With old foes and problems following them into 1944 it seems as if the family will never find anything resembling a peaceful normalcy.  The ladies Natalie and Caitlin especially are searching for this normalcy and both find it in the arms of two airman from the local air force training base. A ray of normal shines brightest with the birth of Adam and Bridget’s daughter, Camille; a hope that life can continue to move forward despite their transient life.

Even though the family briefly separate as the twins head back to their friend Emma’s farm in Pennsylvania in hopes of finding clues as to the whereabouts of their parents, everyone comes back together in Arizona to try and figure out their next steps.  This time they believe staying in one place and letting their parents come to them is the best way to move forward with their search. Everyone finds a way to contribute to the war effort with jobs in the war industry; Adam running a recycling facility, Greg teaching English to Chinese and British trainees, the girls maintaining engines at the airbase and Cody delivering medical supplies. In the end though, old demons surface and the five siblings find themselves once again facing down the ghosts that seem to follow them through time.

Again, John has captured the audience with this amazing novel! I always look forward to the next book in this series both because of the enticing story it will tell and on pin point to see if the siblings will FINALLY find their parents.  Though deep down I know John will keep that secret until the end of the last book, just because he’s that kind of author.  I am looking forward to finding out what happens next for sure!

Giving Indian Paintbrush Five Stars!

About the Author John A. Heldt

John Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past.

Connect with John

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