When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.
This epic story is both poignant and heartfelt. I enjoyed the journey from Scotland to Colonial North Carolina. I was transported into the pages of this story with the vivid descriptions and dynamic characters that welcomed me into the pages of their lives and let me walk alongside them in their struggles and triumphs.
Savvy readers will discover an underlying parallel between this story and a Bible story from the New Testament. But I won’t spoil it by telling you which one, you’ll have to read it for yourself! I greatly appreciated the nuggets of Biblical truth seamlessly woven into the story. Words of comfort, of hope and of a God that longs for a true and lasting relationship with each one of us.
Rich with historical details this story doesn’t shy away from the difficult parts of life that were common for that time period. There are moments that are difficult to read, and parts that will have you at one moment yelling words of caution to the characters and reaching for your Kleenex the next. It did take me a few chapters to get into the story, but once it got going, I couldn’t put the book down!
This story is one that will hold of a place of honor on my keeper shelf! If you enjoy reading stories set in the Colonial time period, stories with depth and emotion, then you won’t want to miss out on picking up a copy to enjoy!
(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists and/or authors, including netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
About the Author:
Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.
When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband.
Burning Sky, Lori’s debut novel, was a finalist for the ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award, and winner of the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.
Other books by Lori Benton: