In college, while working on my history degree, I fell in love with the Revolutionary War era of American history. In fact, the first novel I ever finished is set in this time period. But it is a hard sell, at least at the moment, so there isn’t much published fiction about this era to read.
Enter Siri Mitchell’s The Messenger.
I loved this book. The setting: British occupied Philadelphia. The heroine: a devout Quaker. The hero: a disillusioned former British soldier who lost his arm in the French and Indian Wars. Hannah wants to visit her brother, who had joined the Patriots and been captured, at the jail, but she cannot do it with anyone’s knowledge, for the Society of Friends has expressly forbidden such an action. When she finds a way in, it comes with a cost–to her person, her conscience and her heart.
This story completely captivated me. More historical than romance, the sweet love story happens slowly, amidst much personal angst for both Hannah and Jeremiah. In the midst of a gripping conflict, they grapple with compassion, mercy, loyalty, honesty, politics, relationships and truth. Beliefs are tested and tried, refined and renewed. The Messenger is a book that will stick with me for a long, long time.