5/14/2012

The Messenger - A Transitional Woman

What do you do when your entire world has turned upside down and what you used to believe no longer seems right?

Hannah Sunderland in The Messenger is a Quaker living in British-occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution.  Quakers do not fight in wars or take sides.  Her twin brother took sides and is now sick and starving in prison.

Hannah struggles with a life that is in transition: disobeying her parents and church, reconciling her views of slavery while living in a slave-owner's home, becoming enmeshed in a growing web of deceptions and much more.

In the midst of the confusion is Jeremiah, damaged in body and spirit, consumed by long-held hatred and revenge who becomes her partner in a dangerous undertaking of spying and lies.  Lies that Hannah refuses to tell and Jeremiah feels are her only recourse to avoid being hanged.

The book is written in an alternating chapter style with Hannah narrating one chapter and Jeremiah narrating the next, each sharing their thoughts, fears and experiences.  We see their internal battle to discover the truth about themselves and what they value and believe.

I was pulled into the story immediately.  The main characters are three dimensional and complex.  There are no easy answers to some of the dilemmas in which they find themselves and the author does not provide simple solutions or even resolve all of the situations.  This made the story real, believable and thought provoking.

Although the main characters are fictional, others are taken from the pages of history and some of the events that Hannah and Jeremiah are a part of are also part of the historical record.  It is people who make history.  What they do and why they do it is endlessly fascinating.

If you would like to read The Messenger, it is available as a free Kindle download on Monday, May 14.


The Messenger by Siri Mitchell
Bethany House Publishers, 2012
Historical fiction, 374 pages

Bethany House Publishers provided a free copy of The Messenger for review.  The opinions stated are my own.

9 comments:

  1. I must say that I enjoyed your Review, E.! It sounds like something 'right up my alley.' Aside from the facts that I love historical fiction, we taught at/attended a Quaker college and church in the '70s, and we visited relatives and historical sites in the Philly area several times, I was also intrigued by the 'alternate chapter' aspect of the book. I will look forward to finding it and reading it (hopefully, it might be on audiobook...?? or Kindle??) Is it by the 'Siri' that talks to me on my iPhone??!! ;-}

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    1. The Messenger is free as a download on Kindle today!

      -Siri

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    2. Thanks for the tip! I'm going to download it now. It sounds great.

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed my book. Thanks for taking the time to write and post a review!

    Many blessings,

    Siri

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    1. It was my pleasure both to read a book I enjoyed and post a review.

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  3. Book reviews by transitional woman! Awesome. I think I would like this book and will have to look it up.

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  4. I really like Siri Mitchell's writing, too. Thanks for the review - I haven't read this book yet and downloaded it today - going camping with the family this weekend and now I have a new book to read. Yippee!

    Nice review, btw. Made me want to read it.

    Really enjoy your posts!

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