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My Review: Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

Description:

Michigan Territory, 1814
  A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger
discover firsthand the high price of freedom.
 

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.

About the author:

Jody Hedlund is the author of Rebellious Heart, Unending Devotion, The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence and a finalist for the 2011 Carol Award in First Novel. She received her BA from Taylor University and her MA from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She can be found online at www.jodyhedlund.com.

(Description and about the author copied from Amazon.  Cover photo from Deeper Shopping)

My review: 4 stars

Great new historical novel!

Captured by Love is Jody Hedlund’s newest historical novel. I have really enjoyed her other books. So I had high expectations for this one and am happy to say that it surpassed them all!

This book is set in 1814 on Michilimackinac Island during the British occupation, something I didn‘t know much about. I loved all of the history Ms. Hedlund included! It never overpowered the story or made it feel like a history lesson, but is skillfully woven in and used to highlight certain events, bringing the setting and time period to life. I also really enjoyed the descriptions, which were understated, giving us a glimpse of what it would look like, but also leaving some things to the reader’s imagination.

I loved Angelique MacKenzie! She is such a sweet, loving, down to Earth character, while also being strong, determined, and a bit on the stubborn side. I enjoyed seeing the island, Pierre, and everything else through her eyes. We quickly learn that she attempts to care for everyone, even those she doesn’t particularly like. Even when abused and threatened, she still tries to help others, something I greatly admired about her. Angelique desires to be a woman of honor, something she felt her mother was not. I enjoyed watching her grow and change as she faced circumstances beyond her control and learned to trust in God.

Pierre Durant is a great hero and an excellent match for Angelique. He is adventurous and just as stubborn and determined as Angelique. He often has to curb his instinct to walk straight at trouble or head off in search of his next adventure. When he returns home it is with the desire to make amends for the past and show his mother that he is a changed man. Even though he has changed, which we discover as we hear more of the story of his departure, he has even more changes to face. He questions at one point why it is always so painful, when God goes to work on him. I loved watching him mature and his faith increase.

I adored Pierre and Angelique’s relationship. They’ve been friends for years, so they have a fun banter that isn’t often found in the more serious historical fiction. I found myself smiling often while reading and just enjoying the dialogue. It starts out with both of them determined to keep their relationship the same, but as they get to know each other again, it becomes something more. I enjoyed their teasing each other, but also the protectiveness Pierre feels toward Angelique, which is surprisingly (and for him, insultingly) returned. They have the kind of relationship that is sometimes called “iron sharpening iron.” They challenge each other and bring out the best in one another, as any good relationship should.

I think perhaps my favorite part of the story was the spiritual facet. It is entwined throughout the story, sometimes in the forefront, sometimes in the background, but always there. There are two main themes that I can pick out, as well as a couple other smaller ones. The first is forgiveness, which is what Pierre struggles with the most. He feels unworthy of the forgiveness being offered. The other is trusting the Lord. Both Pierre and Angelique must learn to lean on God and trust Him with their circumstances.

My only complaint is that the ending seemed a little rushed and I didn’t like that a couple of the chapters skipped weeks and months (though it is clearly noted). I wanted it to be a bit longer and I would have enjoyed a few more details. But that’s just me nitpicking.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy great historical Christian fiction!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network for my honest opinion, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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