Publication Date: 2013
Bethany House, a divison of Baker Publishing
Purchased Kindle book from Amazon,com
Jody Hedlund has once again written an engrossing historical fiction novel with a cast of characters who are interesting and immediately arouse emotion in the reader. This novel, according to the author, is based loosely on the lives of John and Abigail Adams. Ms. Hedlund strives in this book, as she does with all of her books, to achieve a true depiction of historical detail.
The novel tells the story of Susanna Smith, a young woman from a moderately well-off family, and Ben Ross, a farmer’s son who has been educated to be a lawyer at Harvard. Both young people have known each other since early childhood. Their shared history adds to the background story and eventual romance. Susanna and Ben both struggle to achieve parental approval. Susanna lacks an interest in the areas in which her mother wants her to succeed, and she has a distinctly unladylike eagerness for reading and education. Ben feels that he needs to marry well and elevate his status in the community in order to make his father proud.
As the story unfolds, we find Susanna and Ben becoming reacquainted and frequently thrown together through the relationship unfolding between Ben’s best friend, Richard Cranch, and Susanna’s sister, Mary. Further drawing Ben into Susanna’s life is her involvement with a runaway indentured servant. A local mystery surrounding murders pulls Ben, Susanna, and the indentured servant further into the plot. At the heart of the story is also the struggle of the budding revolution. Ben does not agree with the King’s unfair taxation and is involved on the fringes with smuggling operations, along with his friend, Cranch. Susanna, however, starts out as a very steadfast believer in God, King, and parental law.
Read this excellent novel to find out how Susanna and Ben resolve their differences and to find out what happens to the mystery surrounding the indentured servant. A terrific read for lovers of historical fiction and inspirational fiction both!