Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

Hannah Sunderland and her family are Quakers. The Quakers are non-violent people. Hannah and her family have chosen not to take sides in the Revolutionary war. Hannah's brother Robert has gone against their beliefs and joined the Patriots, his family has disowned him.

Jeremiah Jones owns a tavern where he is able to keep tabs of what is going on with the British army. He has already lost an arm in one war so is considered useless by most people. When the job of being a spy for General Washington falls into his lap Jeremiah must enlist the help of someone to be able to get into the jail to visit the prisoners.

When Robert is taken prisoner his family refuse to visit him in jail. Jeremiah is able to talk Hannah into not only visiting her brother in jail but also is able to talk her into passing a message on to a particular prisoner. After all, nobody would expect a Quaker woman of duplicity and spying.

Through their dangerous liaison of providing the prisoners with food and a means to escape Hannah and Jeremiah must learn to trust each other. Because of Hannah's Quaker beliefs this endeavor proves to be even more dangerous than either she or Jeremiah first thought. The more Hannah visits the prisoners the more she begins to question the belief of the Quakers in disowning the prisoners in need. With corruption abounding the prisoners are starving and forced to live in squalor while others turn a blind eye. Can two people be the means of saving them without being caught and tried for treason?

I really liked this story and found myself hoping that through all of the obstacles in their way that Hannah and Jeremiah would find a love for each other. But the romance or love story of The Messenger was not the main thrust of the book. I liked the fact that it dealt mainly with Hannah's struggle with her conscience to remain true to her faith and the Quaker beliefs or to listen with her own heart to what God was telling her no matter that it went against everything that she was taught. I also am becoming a sucker for those men that want to change their waywardness because of the love and example of a good woman. Jeremiah was rough around the edges at first but through his association with Hannah found himself wanting to be a better person for her. If you like Historical fiction then this is definitely a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


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