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