What an excellent story! I have read all of Jody Hedlund's other books and have found them immensely enjoyable. This one is no exception. This story takes place in Massachusetts in the year 1763. It is a fictional tale showing what the early years of courtship and romance might have been like for John and Abigail Adams, the future President of the United States and his first lady.
Ben Ross (John Adams) is a young lawyer, who has returned home to start his law practice. He has grown up the son of a poor farmer, but aspires to much more. He wants a good reputation and social status and has decided he will marry a woman who has both, along with wealth, to gain a foothold in society so as to launch and then expand his law practice. He renews his acquaintance with Susanna Smith (Abigail) due to his best friend's romantic interest in Susanna's sister, Mary. Ben and Susanna are together often to act as chaperones for the couple. Ben also has realized the price of being British subjects has come at too high a cost. He resents how the colonists are treated by the Crown and has begun to do something about it. However, the more time he spends with Susanna, the more he begins to admire her keen mind, compassion and pertness. Ben knows Susanna would never agree to a courtship between them because she has been groomed by her mother to make a good match, and Ben doesn't have the social standing or the wealth to be considered such. Can Ben really capture her heart?
Susanna Smith comes across a runaway girl hiding in the orchard. She soon befriends the runaway, but at what cost? She entreats Ben to help her find legal recourse for the young woman. Soon Ben and Susanna have the local British soldiers breathing down their neck, trying to find this runaway girl. She is an indentured servant and has escaped with time left to be served on her contract. Harboring a runaway indentured servant has severe penalties for both the discovered servant and the concealer. Susanna begins to see Ben as courageous, brave and intelligent. She wants a future with him, but knows her mother won't approve. Susanna also begins to doubt her blind loyalty to the Crown and sees the rebellious colonists in a new light. Will she be brave enough to do the right thing in God's eyes even if it is against the law of man?
"He's guilty of murder." This is the first sentence of the book and once you start reading, you won't be able to put this book down. I just love how Jody recreates fictional accounts of historical figures' lives and how they might have been lived. She imbues her characters with real thoughts and emotions that just jump off the page they seem so real. I really enjoy the Author's Note she includes at the end of the story where she tells of her research and what events and characters in her fictional story actually took place and what some of their thoughts were in real life. She has a talent I find fascinating, and she definitely has the God-given gift of storytelling. You don't want to miss reading this great book! I highly recommend it. I can't wait to see who Jody writes about next!
I so enjoyed this story and especially the two main characters of Susanna and Ben! The author did an excellent job of making them have character and heart. Susanna is written as a strong woman with determination. The character of Ben is also written very well. You cheer for him as he struggles with his priorities and making a living for himself. When the two of them begin working together for a cause the conversations and interactions between them are excellent and such fun to read. I gave this book 5/5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction and stories with strong female characters. I loved the book and look forward to reading it again!
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund is an exciting novel, transporting the reader to 1763 in Braintree, Massachusetts. I had a difficult time putting down this meaty novel and searched for opportunity to be captured by its pages. If you enjoy historical fiction laced with romance, you will want to read this book by the same author of The Preacher's Bride, A Noble Groom, and The Doctor's Lady.
I recently read Rebellious Heart, by Jody Hedlund. From the first scene in a New England Courthouse in 1763, I was completely captivated by the characters. I couldn't read fast enough. I truly felt like I was standing alongside Ben Ross and Susanna Smith as they walked through their passionate, though perilous, adventure.
I loved watching Jody weave this tale. Many times I stopped and marveled at how she brought in certain elements to deepen the story, add character sympathy, and transform Ben and Susanna--not to mention other key players. Her storytelling caused me to dig deeper into my own current work-in-progress and look for ways I can strengthen it--which, to any writer, is the true test of a story.
There wasn't a dull scene or unimportant conversation in Rebellious Heart. My eyes slid across the words without tripping and I don't even remember turning a page! I even used up my own precious writing time to keep reading. This is a fantastic story--definitely on my top ten list of all time.
Jody is fast becoming one of my favorite, must-read authors. My only disappointment is that the rest of the day is stretching before me and I'm done with Susanna and Ben's story. Now I need to clean my house and think about what's for dinner.
Every time I read a book by Jody Hedlund I say, "That was the best one yet." Rebellious Heart is no exception!! I loved this book!
Set in colonial America, the story follows Susanna Smith and Ben Ross as they work together to help an escaped indentured servant. Both have compelling reasons for marrying into wealth, thus keeping them from marrying each other. I think this was Ms. Hedlund's most romantic book to date!
The fall setting, suspenseful theme, and fascinating historical details all added up to a perfect read for me! I can't wait to read her next one!
(I was given an advanced reader copy of this book with no obligation to review it. All opinions are my own--and I loved it!!)