Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rebellious Heart By Jody Hedlund Book Review

// Rebellious Heart //
By Jody Hedlund
{Review By Bethany}
Title: Rebellious Heart
Author: Jody Hedlund
Source: I received a copy from the author after requesting to be an influencer for this novel
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0764210483
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: September 15th, 2013
Bethany's Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
// Book Synopsis //

"In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice."

// Resources //
{Available September 15th, 2013}
// Bethany's Book Review //

One of the things that first sold me to Jody Hedlund's writing is the way she incorporates so much history into a wonderfully written work of fiction that not only delights, but also included a lot of history. Her newest novel Rebellious Heart is no exception and doesn't disappoint as it takes you back in time Colonial America in the 1700s when you were forced to choose between being loyal to the king or rebelling against him!

One of the things I loved so much about this novel was all the history involved, up to the point where the main characters were loosely based on famous people of our past that played a critical role in America's upcoming during the time when America was on the verge of the Revolutionary War. I was very impressed with all the research that Jody obviously did to make this novel as accurate as possible, and it lit a match in my heart to further study these great people of our past and this critical time in America's history.

I loved how despite the fact that the story was about real people, it still had a nice amount of fiction and was so interesting and such a page turner. This book literally kept me up until the wee hours of the next day despite my need for sleep, but I just couldn't put it down! Especially towards the second half of the novel where there is constantly something happening that makes you want to continue reading!

On the romance side, this novel definitely had a bunch of it. While I'm the kind of person that likes more history than romance, I think that the romance level in this novel did go over what I'm usually okay with reading. However, due to all the history involved in the story and the great story-line, I considered it more than worth the romance side, considering all the history that I feel like was very helpful and interesting along with the suspense of the story line.

                                             ::::::WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!:::::::

                                             To avoid spoilers skip the following paragraph.

However I will note that in the first chapter of the book, as well as a couple other times in the book there was some sensitive subjects that would make the novel only for mature readers. These things involving detailed scenes of a man receiving punishment for a crime he supposedly committed by being branded and having his ear cut off, as well as several scenes with a runaway slave who was abused by her master and is found pregnant later on, though details were not given. For those who have read Jody's last book Unending Devotion and are aware of the high level of adult content contained in that story, then just know that this novel is much more friendly towards young adult readers than Unending Devotion was, concerning the mature topic that largely made up the story. So while this novel does include a few sensitive scenes, there aren't near as many as Unending Devotion.

                                                          ::::::::SPOILER ENDING:::::::::

As far as characters go, Susanna definitely had a more determined and somewhat feministic character. Often times I'm not completely in support of hard-core feminists because of the disrespect for men that comes as a result of wanting to be not equal to men, but better than the males around them. But I didn't feel like Susanna's womanly confidence that I'd consider feminism to be disrespectful, however that isn't to say she didn't wasn't very strong in her belief that women could do anything a man could do. However when I compare her feminism to that of the lady whom she was supposed to represent in the story, I don't see the original woman as a disrespectful feminist, so it didn't really bother me so much with Susanna's character. Of course this is a small detail that certainly wouldn't make or break the novel, just something I observed.

Overall this novel was a delightfully irresistible read filled with an interesting plot that keeps you turning pages late into the night, as well as a good dose of history and a wonderful written story. Any fans of Jody Hedlund or historical fiction from the 1700s would love this novel, and I highly recommend it!

NOTE :: I'd like to sincerely thank author Jody Hedlund as well as Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a complementary copy of Rebellious Heart to read and influence for. I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts expressed in my review are completely my own, honest and unbiased.

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