Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.
With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas’s secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary’s world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister?
And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband’s broken heart?
(Hi friends and followers. To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Rebecca DeMarino is holding a great giveaway. Continue reading to get all the details on it!)
The 17th century was a tumultuous time in England. It would bring a Civil War and the beheading of a king. The Church of England is the established church. It is ‘reformed’ in the sense that it doesn’t acknowledged the Pope as the head of the church, but for others it is still too Catholic in its traditions. The Protestant monarch is married to a Spanish Catholic and Puritans fear her influence, especially since many of them are now being persecuted for their beliefs. With the discovery of the New World, there is now the exciting possibility of reforming the church far away from their persecutors. This is the background in which A Place in His Heart is set.
Utilizing family lore and various historical resources, debut author Rebecca DeMarino has created an interesting portrayal of what life might have been like for her ancestor, Barnabas Horton. To be honest, however, I didn’t care for him. I understood the need to provide a mother for his young sons but I felt he mistreated Mary. He made her his wife in every sense of the word, but continued to mourn his deceased wife. His thoughts seemed to turn to Ann at every pivotal moment, despite Mary’s attempts to be a good wife. It was as though Mary was competing with a ghost. I couldn’t imagine being married to someone for 10 years and still coming second in their heart to a dead woman. I also felt Barnabas was subconsciously influencing his oldest son’s behavior towards Mary.
I believe the strength of A Place in His Heart lies in DeMarino’s description on everything from food and clothing to family and religion. They are incredibly detailed, giving the reader a sense of actually being there beside the characters. I could picture the small English village in which they lived, and the wedding cake Barnabas created. I might’ve preferred to not imagine the voyage, with its smells and swells, but the depiction of starting their lives in the new land does manage to make up for that!
A Place in His Heart is the first title in a new series called The Southold Chronicles. A sneak peak of book two is included at the back.
Thank you to Revell for my complimentary copy of A Place in His Heart, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read A Place in His Heart? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 03 June 2014
Page Count: 336
To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Rebecca DeMarino is holding a large giveaway with the help of some friends and also members of the Revell Reads Bloggers community (which includes myself.) The giveaway runs until June 16th, and you can enter more than once. In fact, there are ways to enter every day. Go to this blog entry on DeMarino’s website, scroll down, and register using the Rafflecopter form. You can then get your first entry by stating how you heard about the giveaway, which I hope (of course) was via my review. Get extra entries via the options on the form. A complete list of participating blogs can be found on the blog.