Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund - great historical fictionRebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund. Bethany House, 2013. 384p. (9780764210488)

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Jody Hedlund’s historical fiction. And she writes true historical fiction – it’s based on real events, mentions real people, and yet is a work of her imagination. Going into it I didn’t remember or didn’t know whose story she was somewhat telling. I’m glad of that – it let me just enjoy the story and not wonder what was based on historical happenings and what was made up. But at the end I got to ponder of the story and reflect on the historical couple.

Goodreads Summary:
In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this story. The characters were fun and witty. There was suspense, romance, danger, a wise and unconventional grandmother, plenty of wit, and it shows a side to pre-revolutionary war colonial American politics that I haven’t read a whole lot about.

map of greater Boston area, including Braintree
Braintree is near the bottom ~14 miles south of Boston
The story takes place mainly in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1763. The war at this point is over a decade away but already people were grumbling against the taxes, many were unhappy with having to feed and quarter British soldiers and smugglers honed their sailing skills.

The mystery was well written and I could feel the icy fear of the girls as they ran through the forest. The author did a great job of balancing out the evil with good.

Oh and the romance was really rather scandalous considering the time period; but quite good and it somehow managed to be proper for the most part. Bit of a contradiction I know, but it’s still true. The author has a knack for writing a great kissing scene without it being too much.

If you like historical, clean romance set in pre-revolutionary war America then you should read Rebellious Heart

five star review: Go buy, borrow or beg this book right now!

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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