I asked for this historical romance novel because I’d read and quite enjoyed Siri Mitchell‘s chick lit, The Cubicle Next Door. Yes, I knew this new one was historical, not usually my genre of choice, but I was amused by her other novel. Besides, my daughter asked me to get this one, so I did.
It shouldn’t surprise me that the author’s voice changed significantly from chick lit to historical. She did a great job of getting into the voice of a young Puritan woman in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1640s. Love’s Pursuit follows Susannah Phillips as she struggles with the unwelcome pursuit by one suitor and the slow courtship by the man she desires. But when the threat of savages draws near, the governor sends a captain to train up the local militia, adding one more young man to the mix–and this one not bound by Puritanism. Poor Susannah, trying her best to be good and obedient and pious, finds herself in intolerable circumstances. Who will ask for her hand in marriage, and will she dare to circumvent tradition to follow her heart?
Here are the opening paragraphs:
“Do you never tire of being good, Susannah? Do you never think any rebellious thought?”
I turned my eyes from my sister back to my work in the blueberry canes. “Aye, I do.”
Mary gasped, though I detected laughter in the sound. “‘Tis not possible.”
“‘Tis not only possible. ‘Tis probable. Like this one I think right now, about you.” I threw a blueberry in her direction.
She dodged it. “I shall report this harassment to the selectman. At once!”
I looked up at her tone, for Mary was unpredictable and she might have done it just for spite. But her eyes were dancing despite her labors and the unseasonable heat. Warmth rose to my cheeks as well. But it was not the sun which scorched my flesh. It was my own conscience.
My sister’s question had hit too close to the condition of my soul. To those in Stonybrooke Towne, Susannah Phillips was indeed a fair and obedient girl. But I knew myself to be vastly different than the person they imagined me to be.
If you enjoy this period of history, you’ll appreciate this author’s attention to detail. I don’t think I’d much have enjoyed being a Puritan, but the view through this window felt very authentic. A great addition to the genre.