Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated―plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.
Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.
Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.
This debut from Heidi Chiavaroli is so beautifully written, I’m not sure where to start. A couple of quick notes about the story maybe? It is a timeslip novel taking place at the start of the revolutionary war as well as 2015. Written in the first person POV of both heroine’s gives readers a peek into their thoughts, fears, and more.
One of the things I loved about this story is how well the parallels of each of these women contrasted to each other. Liberty Caldwell is brave, choosing to give up on love in order to honor her brother while Annie David feels weak, cowardly but when the possibility of falling in love enters her world, she grasps it with both hands and holds tight. Liberty finds her way alone through most of her story while Annie clings to her new friendship and her reconnection with her niece. Liberty is fighting a battle of both her heart and of true war. Annie is fighting one of her demons (or as she calls them her fairytale nightmares).
Almost 250 years separate these two women’s lives but a ring and the story behind it connects them in a poignant and heartrending way. Rich history is woven throughout the story (both in the historical and the modern aspects) and readers experience a bit of Boston throughout.
Fans of Kristy Cambron and Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Dress will enjoy this new author.
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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Check out this video from Heidi Chiavaroli about the Freedom Trail in Boston.