One of the reasons I appreciate the Courier of Caswell Hall is that it delves into a period of history that I still feel is largely untouched in Christian historical romance. C’mon, you guys, your revolutionary war years are fascinating: the espionage, the loyalists and the new americans, the rife and imminent threat of the French Indian wars still hot on your heels. I find it really fascinating as a new world tries to emerge and the historical details in Dobson’s book reflect her obvious passion for history, and for this integral part of American history.
I also very much appreciated how independent, intelligent and strong-willed our parallel heroines are. Romance is, certainly, a part of their lives; but their convictions and moral compasses are the driving forces. Their willingness to obey God beyond human expectation and the rigidity of their circumstance. When romance is granted them it is again a force for the independent: severing them from the apropos and ordinary.
I must confess that, at the beginning, the switch between Lydia and Sarah’s stories felt a little wobbly and forced to me; but the pairing did eventually find solid grounding.
Lately, I have been trying very hard to focus on what makes opening chapters so readable, memorable and fantastic. Here, we are dropped in the action immediately when Lydia goes for a stroll and finds a stranger. The premonition that this might be the enemy weighs heavily on the reader as she tries to do her Christian duty by nursing him to health while hiding him from her conservative father. The familial tension, Lydia’s severed family ( the disappearance of her brother) and her political unrest of a world torn asunder are made immediately transparent.
There are edges of mystery on every page. The Courier of Caswell Hall is a bittersweet goodbye to the Summerside Press American Tapestry series. Readers should relish the unique setting, vivid historical canvas, and independent and incorrigible heroines who find love and adventure when the novel spins to a satisfying end. I loved the battlefield sequences and the patchwork quilt of historical references including General Washington and Lord Cornwallis. This is an exciting, edifying time period made illustrious when pitted against the beautiful Virginia setting of the novel.
If you’re into solid faith fiction with mistaken identities, the promise of love and tons of adventure, then look no further than here.
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