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A Place in His Heart- Rebecca DeMarino

Southold Chronicles #1 
332 Pages, Print and Ebook
24th June 2014, Revell

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons.

And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.

This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino’s own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life–and a legacy–in the New World.

I've got to confess, Colonial America is not my favourite setting. I just find it hard to get on with and identify with, its not really my favourite period either. To be honest, I've yet to find a book set in this time that has been really immersive.
It was interesting that this book was based on the author's family history, who included some of the earliest settlers on Long Island. I do appreciate stories about real people and their real lives. In that regard, it was not a bad book, and it was in interesting story. It just lagged a bit towards the end.

Some of the historical details were also interesting, such as the interactions with Native Americans, and the the practices and customs that crossed between the cultures.

Personally, I did not find Barnabas convincing as a 17th century puritan. I don't hold to the incorrect view that they were all dour, miserable and solemn, but I think Barnabas seemed to be lacking in real convictions.
All he does is complain about the oppression of the wicked government in the manner one might hear about in a schoolroom- but he does not hold to many of the ideas common to puritanism. Indeed, his ideas are very modern and accomodating.

The langauge is also that strange, eclectic mixture of Archaic and modern American English with 'Prithee' used alongside terms like the modern American 'Bakeshop'- British people would not usually call it that. We would say Bakery, or Baker's shop.

Overall this was a good read, and since I have the third book as a review copy I will read it. For the reader interested in the period of the American founding fathers, and speculative fiction on what the lives of the women of the time would have been like, its a good choice


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