Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Review: The Tory Widow

I've always loved reading novels set during the Revolutionary War. The struggle of a young nation against one of the most powerful armies on Earth makes for a thrilling read.

That's why I was quite excited to pick up Christine Blevins' new novel, The Tory Widow. Set in New York during the early days of the American Revolution, this lush historical novel tells the story of Anne Merrick, a young widow whose elderly husband ran a Tory printing press. After his death, she's struggled to make ends meet, even if it means printing opinions she doesn't agree with - mainly those that support the King of England.

Jack Hampton is a staunch patriot and participates in a raid that ransacks Anne's home. The spark between the two flares to life and Anne becomes involved in the Rebel cause - and opens her long-closed heart to Jack.

From the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord to the occupation of New York by the British, The Tory Widow weaves a complex and intimate story of two people in a tumultuous time who find liberty and love.

What truly struck me about The Tory Widow was the amazing amount of historical detail Blevins included. It literally appeared as though she stepped back into time and sat and recorded all that she saw. I can't imagine the immense amount of research she must have done, but the effort was well worth it. She describes the printing process in fascinating detail and perfectly captures the mannerisms and attitudes of the time.

Jack and Anne are wonderfully complex characters and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their relationship grow. There's a great cast of secondary characters - Titus, a black man who becomes Jack's best friend; Sally, Anne's Scottish maid; David, Anne's brother and an officer in the colonial army and Sally's beau; and even George Washington himself.

This is the first book in a three-book series on the Revolutionary War and I must say, I can't wait until the other two books come out. I was completely swept into this world and am looking forward to what happens next to Jack and Anne.


Rene said...

I hope we see more novels taking place in the Revolution. Fascinating and exciting time period.

Tess said...

Hmmm - might have to see if the library can get this one for its collection!! Thanks for the review, Melissa :)