Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Review: The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

Book Details:
Title: The Messenger
Author: Siri Mitchell
2012, Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0796-9
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Book Summary:
Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith... until her twin brother joined the Colonial cause and ended up in jail. She longs to bring some measure of comfort to him in the squalid prison, but her faith forbids it. The Friends believe that they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. She is not allowed to visit him, even if she were able to secure a pass.

Jeremiah Jones, a Colonial spy, needs access to the jail to help rescue men important to the cause. Upon meeting Hannah, a plan begins to develop. Who would suspect a pious Quaker visiting a loved one?

But Jeremiah is unprepared for Hannah, for her determination to do right, to not lie. How can one  be a spy and not lie? Hannah, in turn, is surprised by Jeremiah... for the way he forces her to confront her own beliefs, for the sensitivity  and concern that he shows her despite the wounds he still carries.

My Review:
This was a wonderful book. It was the first I've read by this author. It was rich in character details and story line alike. Up until the end, I was wondering if Hannah and Jeremiah were going to survive or if they were going to be sent off to the British prison ships to die for their treason!

There is so much going on in this story: Hannah's Quaker faith and whether she will be able to stay as a Friend, be disowned if she's found out, or will she end up walking away from her faith and family? Jeremiah's bitter heart and his ability to get past is physical and emotional war wounds from a previous life or not and his friendship with a British officer. Their plot to rescue the rebel prisoners from the jail. AND of course, the relationship  between Hannah and Jeremiah.

All of these plots intertwine and work together to make an intriguing story! I enjoyed the fact that the characters were believable and the author seemed to do a very good job of keeping everything in historical context throughout the book. And although it is a Christian novel, I thought the "Christian" aspects of it were very tastefully done - mostly in relationship to Hannah and her faith.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Civil War novels or historical fiction!

Disclosure: The book was provided to me free of charge by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. All opinions in this post are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.

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