A Love That Would Shape History Forever
Because she’s a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she’s determined to marry well, so she’ll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.
Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he’s taken by Susanna’s intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.
When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely advisor. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.
I’m not going to deny it. I love when Jody Hedlund writes books inspired by real life historical couples. Rebellious Heart is inspired by the courtship of John and Abigail Adams (nee Smith), the second President and First Lady of the fledging United States of America. I’d barely begun reading when I decided to do a little research on the couple, and promptly got sidetracked for a number of hours! When I returned to the novel, it was gratifying to read about known events, people and circumstances. Susanna’s family IS Abigail’s family. The names are the same. And Mrs. Smith really didn’t want John courting her daughter. I wonder what might have happened if she hadn’t softened her stance…
Rebellious Heart looks at colonial America with open eyes. Both sides of the taxation issue are raised, with arguments both for and against it. Some of the characters are loyal to the Crown, even when their lives are disrupted by the actions of the British military. At first, I was dismayed that the military seemed to be portrayed only in a negative light; the actions of young Sergeant Frazel changed my opinion. The fictional tale of the runaway indentured servant included several twists and turns that explained how difficult life could be for such a person.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to put into words what exactly makes me like or dislike a novel. This is one of those cases. I had looked forward to reading Rebellious Heart since I first heard about it. I was excited to receive a copy of it and couldn’t wait to be able to read it. I’m happy to say my expectations weren’t dented in the least. Jody Hedlund has delivered another beautiful novel with great detail. I do believe her novels based on historical people bring out the best of her writing, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she writes next.
Thank you to Jody Hedlund and Bethany House for my free copy of Rebellious Heart, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 15 September 2013
Page Count: 376