31 May 2012

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell, Book review


Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith. 

My thoughts:

Siri Mitchell is definitively an author to reckon with: her latest novel 'The Messenger' is fast paced and scintillates with the kind of details any history buff will love. I found her notes and research to be very interesting!
Set during the War of Independence (US), this is the story of an intrepid young Quaker named Hannah and a Continental Army spy named Jeremiah Jones. Each have need of the other and both parties joined forces but not without concerns for the ramifications involved. As a pacifist Hannah cannot abide violence but Jeremiah's plans ultimately will draw her in a conflict few will escape without scars. 

This is absolutely a story to enjoy without interruptions. I for one knew very little of  Women spies during the Civil War (US) and did not give much thought to Women involvement during the 1776 Campaign.
Prisoners conditions during this tumultuous conflict are rarely spoken of yet we know of the many  hardships endured by the Colonial army, particularly during the winter campaign at Valley Forge. 
Sad to say, many of the reenactments Siri Mitchell developed in her tale of faith and courage for our two courageous protagonists rang only too true! The ravages of war effects innocents everywhere yet we still fight!

'The Messenger, reminds us of theologian Reinhold Neiburh's Serenity prayer: 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

So fitting for this story!
As to the Quaker faith, I have to thank Siri Mitchell for enlightening me: I never thought much about it!

A story of bravery, of beliefs and God's path for each one of us!

I give it 5 stars for pure enjoyment!

About the Author:

Siri Mitchell is an intriguing novelist who has written 10 books to date! When I noticed in her acknowledgment the phrase 'Tu as raison!' I just had to read more about her. 
Find out about her 153 rejections before signing with a publisher, her courage to keep on writing and her many novels on her website (here) (and why her husband was right!).

I received this book free from BETHANY HOUSE as part of their blogger review program.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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