By Jody Hedlund
Susanna Smith is different than most young ladies of her class – a bit stubborn, desperate to better her mind through learning, and not at all concerned with finding a husband. Her sister is the fair-haired beauty after all, so Susanna really can’t see any suitors clamoring for her affections. Plus, her mother is determined that she will marry someone of equal or better class. Benjamin Ross is determined to break into a higher class and society. The son of a shoemaker and farmer, Benjamin tried to better himself by going to college and becoming a lawyer. But even that doesn’t make him fit for Susanna’s society. Ben and Susanna soon find themselves working for a common cause – to help a runaway indentured servant girl escape her cruel master and the bounty hunter who pursues her. Can Ben and Susanna save the girl’s life? And can their growing affections be realized, though Susanna’s mother ardently opposes the match?
This pre-Revolutionary war story well describes the lives of American colonists under British rule. The beginnings of the struggle against “taxation without representation,” are the backdrop for Ben and Susanna’s mission for good. I like how the author portrays Susanna’s struggle to know whether she should honor the King of England, or do what is right. She is constantly trying to decide if righteousness is following the law, or protecting the innocent. The storyline moves along pretty well and there are many moments of suspense. My only disappointment was the romance side of the story. I felt like Ben and Susanna were WAY to back on forth on whether they loved each other or not. I’m not an author, but I secretly longed for them to be head over heels in love, and trying to keep it concealed from Susanna’s mom (though in the utmost propriety). Overall I give this story an A – good, clean, historical fiction.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.