February

Note: Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. Net Galley sends me advanced digital copies of these books in exchange for my honest opinion on their website. I only feature books that I really love on my blog.

The Lost Castle—February 6

By Kristy Cambron

What can an 18th century noble Frenchwoman, a lady ravaged by Alzheimer’s and her granddaughter have in common? Nothing—until Lady Vi has a moment of lucidity and tells her granddaughter, Ellie Carver, about a mysterious first love. When Ellie finds a never-before-seen photograph of her grandmother as a young woman posing with a handsome young man along a castle wall, she knows she has to uncover the story.

What Ellie discovers has the power to heal—not just her, but an entire community.

I loved this book for many different reasons. The layered stories feel like what I imagine biting into one of Adriano Zumbo’s desserts must be like. If you love mystery, romance, suspense, and good stories, this book is for you.

 

Keturah—February 6

By Lisa T Bergeron

In eighteenth century England, men and women had distinct roles in genteel society. Men provided, and women acted as showpieces. When Ketura, The recently widowed Lady Tomlinson, receives word that her father has passed away on his far away West Indies plantation, she feels as if she has just one choice. Her choice flies in the face of convention, though. She has vowed to never marry again, and so she intends to travel to Nevis herself and take change of the sugar plantation herself. He younger sisters decide to accompany her.

Gray Covington, Keturah’s childhood friend, offers to escort her and protect her on her journey. And only manages to anger Keturah. He finds subtle ways to help her on the long voyage to Nevis, and he discovers that the more he knows about his grown-up friend, the more he admires. Gray admires Keturah enough to let her speak for herself and wait for her to seek a friendship with him. He just hopes that one day, maybe she’ll change her mind about men.

Will Keturah and Gray learn to trust God as they struggle to succeed in a new and dangerous land? A beautiful story of how God will restore the years the locusts have eaten if we willingly surrender to him.

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A Refuge Assured—February 6

by Jocelyn Green

Green takes us into the horror of the French Revolution and the reign of terror—where a woman can lose her head because she makes lace. Vivienne Rivard, daughter of a courtesan, and raised by her lace maker aunt, manages to escape her aunt’s fate by fleeing to the mother she scarcely knows.

As the violence intensifies, her mother’s condition worsens. Vienne discovers an invitation from one of her mother’s friends to escape to America. When her mother passes away, Vienne takes it as a sign that she should escape before some neighbor turns her over to the Committee and Madame Guillotine.

When she arrives at the coast, her mother’s friend is not what she expected. She manages to purchase passage to Philadelphia, where she hopes to start a new life—free of the tyranny of the revolution that has taken everyone she knows from her.

William Delaney, Irishman, carpenter, soldier, and faithful brother, worries about his younger cousin’s involvement in the whiskey trade. He worries that Washington’s nascent government, will cause Finn and other farmers to openly rebel against the tax on whisky. Liam has seen enough of war and revolution. He only wants to settle peacefully on his tract of land outside the remote village of Asylum.

William and Vivienne cross paths in Philadelphia, when he defends her from the unwanted opinions of a Jacobin who lauds the Revolution at a party.

As Vivienne struggles to find her place in America, circumstances seem to conspire against her.  Can she find safety in her new country? Who can she trust in a world where everything is not what it seems?

Rich with historical research, the reader comes away with a better understanding of the French Revolution and the Whisky Rebellion.

The Mayflower Bride—February 1

by Kimberly Woodhouse

A sweet romance involving a young woman who travels with her father and younger brother from Leyden, Holland to England, and then on to the New World in search of religious freedom.

An unmarried woman in the 1600s has little choice about her destiny, and Mary Elizabeth Chapman doesn’t really want to venture to the proposed colony. She’d rather stay safe in her known world, near her mother’s grave. Only the fact that her best friend, Dorothy will be on the voyage boosts her courage enough to accept her father’s decision.

William Lytton, orphan, once again finds himself alone in the world—this time after his mentor and friend passes away. William honors his mentor’s wish and signs on to travel to the new colony. Before the voyage, one of the shareholders approaches him and asks him to keep record of what happens with the Separatists. William agrees, after all what harm could come of simply keeping record?

After multiple problems with the ship, the Separatists find out that they’ll have to join their fellow travelers on the more seaworthy Mayflower. The crowded conditions throw two unlikely people together—Mary Elizabeth and William. The storms and sickness that torment the passengers and crew test both of their mettle. As William learns more about the group, he starts to reconsider his lack of belief in God.

The author does a nice job of presenting a historically accurate novel. Mary Elizabeth and William grow as characters as they face each new hardship. The elements and the ship act as the real antagonist of the journey, but the author has included a one-dimensional antagonist that causes problems for William. The resolution seems a little contrived.

Phoebe’s Light—February 6

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Phoebe Starbucks, a determined young Quaker living on Nantucket Island in the 1760s, knows what she wants. Above all, she wants security. Her widowed father, while kind, makes a disastrous provider—he can’t stick to any one enterprise. In fact, everything he tries seems to fail—which sinks him further into debt.

Phoebe has a crush on Captain Foulger, a pious whaling captain, and when his ship arrives at n port, she believes her only option lies in marrying the older man and leaving Nantucket on a grand adventure.

Matthew Macy left the Quaker church at 15, and he’s never looked back. Except maybe when his stubbornness lost him the chance to marry the love of his life, his best friend Phoebe Starbuck. After losing his father and their whaler, Matthew contents himself with staying on land and trying to reverse his family’s fortunes through his barrel making business. And then Both Captain Foulger and Phoebe’s father, Barnabas, beg him to sign on as cooper for The Fortuna’s next voyage.

Phoebe receives her great-grandmother, Mary Coffin’s, journal from her father for her 18th birthday. Mary’s story provides a source of inspiration and intrigue for Phoebe as she deals with the consequences of her choices.

If you love history, adventure, intrigue, and inspiration, you’ll love this book. Fisher renders history in a vibrant and engaging manner that will keep readers turning pages to see what happens next.

Inspire Me Monday Instructions

What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your favorite posts from last week!

2. Visit TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

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