I don’t normally like just plain Romance books, but I did find these two books interesting by Jody Hedlund. What is especially fascinating is the history in them. As I love it when author’s really delve into the differing mindsets of the times and recreate the era in an authentic and vivid way.
The basic skeleton of this plot is actually quite predictable. However, the historical setting and the inner turmoils of the protagonists were so well presented that it makes for a fascinating read, nonetheless. I especially enjoyed the colonial era Boston environs setting of this book. The plight of the indentured servants is very well presented, which was a fascinating element of the story. And the love story is nicely done. We have Susanna, based on Abigail Adams as it turns out, wishing she had the same access to education as her younger brother, William. She’s known since she was little that she should marry well in order to live in the manner to which has grown accustomed, and that means nobody from the middling classes. Certainly not the rising young son of a shoemaker turned Harvard educated lawyer, Mr. Benjamin Ross ( who in turn is based on John Adams). However, with her interest in helping others, especially young women, leading her to seek out Mr. Ross’ legal expertise, soon their differences in classes and social stations become something that they both must confront and overcome. And, given the time period, this is not a trivial matter. One element of the story I also enjoyed was the way it illustrates the differing points of view of Scripture. As Susannah is a parsons daughter and brought up with the beliefs that she must obey the law as of God, so she has a hard time understanding the burgeoning revolutionary viewpoint that God commands justice and mercy and kindness over unjust laws. It is an interesting development that is brought out in the novel. Overall, I found it to be a lovely read and I recommend it highly.
A Noble Groom
The novel belongs to the Historical Romance Genre, which I have to admit, isn’t always my favorite genre. I tend to prefer mysteries. However, I was drawn to this book because of the fascinating history. It centers around a German immigrant community in Michigan and the author does an excellent job of capturing the mindset of the hard working peasants trying to own their own farms in the New World. She also does an excellent job of portraying the aristocratic and well educated nobleman who has had to leave his homeland in order to avoid the guillotine. The different perspectives of the differing classes are well presented and the greedy American businessman, Ward, is often compared to the greedy nobles of the Old Country, which is a very interesting point. The main drawback for me is that it is one-hundred percent pure romance. Even with the well crafted story presented here, I can’t help but think it would be hard for a nobleman to settle down on a rural farm. Even with his inventions and scientific studies. Call me a cynic if you will, but reality is reality. However, for a fairy tale read, this is an interesting book.