Annabelle’s dream life has turned into a nightmare with the rumor that shattered her father’s reputation. Her father was unable to refute the accusation of embezzlement before he died, and now the Thorley children are suffering for it. It has formed her brother into a monster. So when a shot rings out on their property in the middle of the night, Annabelle considers the one thing she never believed she’d do—run away. Seek shelter with her uncle at the middle-of-nowhere Fellsworth School. But she soon finds there are enemies at Fellsworth the same as in London . . .
I picked up this book shortly after reading Sarah Ladd’s The Weaver’s Daughter, an amazing novel.
I love how they showed Annabelle standing up at last and escaping London. Her example will lend courage to many ladies reading the book, no matter what situations they need to stand up to, stay in, or escape from.
Annabelle’s journey becoming a teacher for the first time was depicted very well—the tension and awkwardness as she tries to fit into a new culture. The same goes for her struggles as she tries to determine who she can trust and deal with her feelings of betrayal.
On the same note, other than when she runs away from London, Annabelle was a very weak character. Even when the climax arrives, she basically chooses to wait for someone else to come save her instead of attempting to escape herself. I would have liked to see a stronger lady character at the center of the story.
All the same, this novel isn’t one to keep a stranger.
Catherine was named Stands-Apart by her Mohawk mother. And the name has proven to be true. She left her Mohawk village after her mother’s death in search of her absent French father. And she has stayed with him all these years, trying to coax back the father she once knew, despite her sister and brother’s warnings.
Now an old friend is back. And he wants Catherine’s help. But the help he requests will require Catherine to take sides in a war she’s wanted no part in. The woman who has spent most of her life standing in the middle, searching only for a fair trade, will now have to choose where her loyalties lie—and how far they will stretch.
This was the first book I read of Jocelyn Green’s, and I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of this book. It was not what I had come to expect from most Christian historical fiction.
Catherine’s journey did not go where I expected it to. Catherine had to make hard choices. Choices to align with one side of the other, instead of standing in the middle. Choices that took much thought. Choices that made me wonder what I would do if faced with the same situation.
Unlike a lot of historical fiction today, the tension is high as Catherine and her friends try to smuggle grain to a dying country and stumble across a plot that could change the course of the French and Indian War.
Catherine’s relationship with her father also caught my attention. I felt Catherine’s struggles as she tried to mend her relationship with her father, while she also wondered if a relationship was ever too far gone. The author did a good job of showing Catherine giving all to restore her father—but also realizing that a time comes to separate.
The romance in this book was far from ordinary as well. I can’t say much more without spoiling the book, but what seemed very typical for a historical romance was quickly shattered. It was a welcome change (for me, maybe not for the main character). Through it, a wonderful theme of forgiveness was woven into the story.
Between Two Shores is an engaging read which will leave you wondering which shore you would choose long after you close the book.
Revolutionary France has no refuges. Vivienne Rivard knows this firsthand. She’s lost her aunt to their cause. Lost even the mother that never cared about her. Her only hope to escape France and begin anew is a mysterious friend of her mother’s. But she soon finds America has its own problems . . . and is all too willing to dabble in France’s when it is believed that a boy Vivienne has taken in is the French prince.
I’d read Jocelyn Green’s Between Two Shores from our church library and had been pleasantly surprised at the depth of plot, the vivid history, and the conflicted characters. When I ran across A Refuge Assured in my favorite bookstore, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up.
I wasn’t disappointed.
A Refuge Assured features a diverse cast of characters—not only in their own personalities, but in their loyalties and beliefs, and how they make those known. It created for crackling tension as the pages went on. Each belief was presented in its own way, and none of them felt pushy or “you must think this character is right.” It made you slow down every so often from the action and wonder what you would have done had you been faced with the same situation.
Speaking of the action, the mystery and suspense plot woven into the novel was a wonderful and welcome touch. It kept me turning pages to find out if Henri truly was Prince Louis-Charles, and if not, how he could explain the similarities. Not to mention whether the French revolutionaries would track him down or not!
I can’t think of anything negative to mention about this book. It’s a thoughtfully written book that truly does transport you back in time until you wonder where true refuges lie . . .
And then it shows you where they do.
Tess is tired of being pretty.
She’s tired of men who only want her for her looks. She’s tired of being stuck as a salesgirl and never as a manager as she would do so well in, because they want her pretty face to sell blouses. Even when she joins the WAVES, she’s tired of being their poster girl.
She’s out to show the world she can be useful. By becoming a WAVE. By tracking down a spy in Boston.
And maybe, just maybe, this might have a little to do with her longtime interest, Dan Avery.
Alright, so I know this is the third book in the series, and I haven’t reviewed the second one yet, but COVID-19 has our library in chaos. So there is no promise as to when that second book will make its way to me.
I love the mystery portion of this book. It has a very “amateur detective” story feel, and I loved riding along as Tess tried to determine who the real spy was. I never guessed the answer—I couldn’t even narrow down who I thought the suspect was, because everyone seemed to be!
Tess’s longing to be useful was very beautifully written, and something that girls feel everyday. A very needed topic to be addressed in a novel.
Sarah Sundin’s perspectives on everyday problems always amazes me. Her books incorporate the elements of most romance and mystery books—namely the drama. But her characters call it out for what it is. They acknowledge that parts of the drama are not kind or unselfish. And then they deal with it. The emotions and thoughts of her characters are very real.
I couldn’t really get into Dan’s portion of the story. I’d turn to the next chapter and think, “Oh, no, I don’t get to go back to Tess until next chapter.” The parts about his relationship with his dad were very interesting, and I would have liked to see more of a plotline there. That being said, I did feel really good tension and injustice between him and his unfair superior. I think the reason I didn’t get as much into his portion was there was just significantly less tension than Tess’s. Had there been a bit more conflict, I would have breezed through it.
I also struggled just a bit to keep up with all the war terms. She had certainly done her research, and her characters referred to things as they would have in that time period, but I am not from that time period, and also did not serve in the Navy. A bit more explanation, or a glossary in the back would have helped me out.
All that being said, When Tides Turn is not a book to turn down.
Sometimes the truth isn’t always black and white.
Zivon Marin can testify to that. After a horrific train wreck separates him from his brother, he comes to London. His plan? To use his brilliant skills as a decoder to turn the tide of World War I, find his brother, and put the Bolsheviks in their place.
There are a few kinks in this plan, though. In that no one trusts him. And that seemingly solid photographic evidence is pouring in that he’s not who he says is.
I said no one trusted him. Well, all except one. Photographer Lily Blackwell—who isn’t even supposed to be at Room 40 at all.
I have been waiting for this book to release since January when I got the second book in the series. I was not disappointed.
While these books are not the fastest paced books in the universe, but they are never dull. This one did seem to have a bit more set up, perhaps due to it having more points of view than the rest of the installments.
I really enjoyed reading about the Russian side of World War I, as well as the Bolshevik Revolution. It’s an intriguing and complex subject, and I got a good taste of it in this novel without being overwhelmed.
She did very well setting up all the opinions surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution equally. Yes, the Bolsheviks were the “bad guys,” but she presented their view point just as she portrayed her main characters’. It took a lot of thought, and I was very impressed.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to think of the climax. It did NOT unfold the way I expected it to, or even the way I wanted it to. But the longer I let it sink in and thought about it, it was exactly what the book, the characters, and perhaps even myself needed. I can’t say much more without spoiling the book, and that would be a dreadful shame.
This book is not just a portrait of loyalty. It’s a portrait of mercy, deep themes, and strong writing, too.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!