I reread this last week as part of the Book Cover Bingo game I’m participating in the Goodreads group Christian Fiction Bloggers. The book had to have a candle on the cover and if you look closely there are six candles on the shelf behind her.
This book is actually the first book I reviewed for this blog, you can read my first impressions here. And I obviously enjoyed it so much I decided to reread it. More particularly because Melanie’s newest book, The Captive Maiden, releases this month.
An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.
What new thoughts can I share about this book? Last time I was struck by all the Beauty and the Beast tie-ins. Those are obviously still there, but this time I think I simply enjoyed the story of a young woman who is trying to do the right thing despite her family’s laziness and put-on airs.
Annabel also is doing her best to avoid and discourage unwanted attention from a man old enough to be her father. In the time that this story takes place, England in 1352, women couldn’t exactly sue because of sexual harassment. Then as sadly even now people often say that the girl bears some blame if she is raped (doesn’t happen in this story!) or harassed. Which is why Annabel’s plight is so precarious and she isn’t sure whom she can or should trust.
This book is more than just a classic fairy tale retelling and an excellent one at that; it speaks to the plight of women, glories in the joy of getting a chance to read the Holy Scriptures (especially in a time when books were rare and very expensive), and draws you into life at medieval manor house under construction.
Go read it! Find it at a library near you; Buy it from Amazon; Buy it from ChristianBooks.com; Buy it from Barnes & Noble
Disclosure: I received this book from the library. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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