Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He has given me a wonderful husband and two children. He also allowed me work at a Christian-run bookstore for 8 years, before giving me the privilege and challenge of being a stay at home mom.
In Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips obeys the rules.
DRESS the right way.
BELIEVE the right things.
LIVE the right life.
But when love interferes, she faces a choice: FOLLOW THE RULES or FOLLOW HER HEART.
Susannah Phillips is the picture perfect Puritan woman, and more than one of the town's bachelors knows this. She has dreamed of the day when her John Prescotte will seek her hand; however, if the powerful Simeon Wright has anything to say about it, that will not happen. He wants her for his own.
Susannah knows that she is not the righteous individual everyone thinks her to be and struggles with her own sin nature. Then Daniel Holcombe moves into town to train the militia in defense against "savages." He introduces new ideas to Susannah about God and faith.
Throughout various trials that Susannah faces she learns who her true friends are. One is a great surprise. Small-Hope Smyth hides herself from everyone including her husband. She has a past that warrants this behavior, and in hiding she is able to observe the towns people with a keen eye. While most of the story is in Susannah's viewpoint, we get snippets from Small-Hope along the way. Susannah takes an inner journey toward God, toward faith, and toward love. Small-Hope also has an internal path to take; hers is toward healing, acceptance, and love.
(Before my thoughts, I will give a small warning: The ending may be a surprise and even a disappointment for some. I know a good friend of mine who would not like the sort of twist found here; however, it did not detract from the story for me. I felt the events fit the characters and plot-line and they led to inner resolution in Susannah's faith.)
I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh; it brought tears to my eyes. It made me curious; it made me wonder. The writing is skillful, and the imagery is vivid. The plot is steady and engaging. The romance is tender; the conflicts are tense. The historical detail is educating. The characters are three-dimensional and well thought out. I felt myself wanting to comfort the women and give insight to the men. Most of all, I loved the growth that the two main women experience.
I am thrilled that I have two more of Siri Mitchell's books in my TBR pile. Her latest novel, She Walks in Beauty, releases April 1 and is now in my "waiting on" list.