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The Tory Widow Paperback – April 7, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425226018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425226018
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

If you like a little romance mixed in with your historical fiction, you will enjoy this book.
I LOVE stories like this that are both historical in setting, and inter-mingle REAL historical people into the story.
Barbara Hall
Not very many climaxes in the story line and I could only get through half the book before I gave up on the story.
Keren Zayas Ruiz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christina R. on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel was a fascinating portrait of a widow fighting to maintain her independence and also an in depth portrait of one of the Colonies greatest ports (New York City)during the Revolutionary War.

The story of Anne has been described already. I would just say that I found Jack to be a rather unsympathetic hero. He came across as being very inconsiderate at times to the point of being shallow. The author never gave a clear reason why Jack left Anne and Sally alone for eight months in New York City when it was occupied by the British. But for me that was unconscienable. I liked both Anne and Sally and felt that their characters were well-written and very believable. I even felt sorry for the British Captain who fell in love with Anne.

The indepth picture of New York City as it was passed from Patriot hands into Loyalist occupation fascinated me the most. This novel is a rich historical giving a vivid and emotional picture of the plight of this great city and its inhabitants during the Revolution. The story is filled with interesting characters from both sides of the war. I was especially pleased to read in the Epilogues that so many of these characters in the book were taken from real life. This author did her research well and thus produced a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

I will definitely be looking for her next novel with great anticipation. if you are looking for a vivid and accurate portrayal of New York City during The Revolutionay War this is the book to buy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HHK VINE VOICE on April 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you like a little romance mixed in with your historical fiction, you will enjoy this book.

The setting is Colonial US in the 1700's. Our heroine is plucky survivor. She has survived marriage to an older husband and the death of a child. She runs her own business and despite changes in the poltical climate manages to adapt to her circumstances.

Having said that there are a few cliches:
1.Determined plucky heroine
2.Prostitute with heart of gold who also loves the hero and dies, thus leaving the path clear for our heroine
3.Red haired Scottish girl friend with a brogue and a heart of gold
4.Freed slave with a heart of gold
5.Ugly,older first husband with hair in his ear!
6.Dark haired, devil may care hero
7.Mean father who wants to sell his daughter to the highest bidder for his personal gain

Despite, the above cliches, the prose is well written and the story will suck you in, so be warned to start reading it when you have plenty of time on your hands.

My only complaint was that I actually like the English soldier(villain), Blankenship, better than the hero. He was a gentleman throughout. He evens quotes poetry to her when he asks her to sleep with him! I did not think he deserved the end he received. Also I wonder if the ending leaves open a possible sequel.

Overall an enjoyable book. I enjoyed it more than the author's other novel Midwife of the Blue Ridge.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Slocum on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Tory Widow, the second book by Christine Blevins, is quite simply an excellent read. Following the story of a young, widowed, woman who is running a printing press in revolutionary New York. The book weaves a intriguing tale of adventure and romance in the most troubled of times.

In my opinion one of the most interesting themes in the book is that Anne and Jack. Although these two characters are pivotal in the fact that theirs is the central love story I found it refreshing that their story was not so cut and dry, as love rarely is. Personal goals complicate things, betrayal and misplaced loyalty scar the relationship and these elementals, while not always making the story a pretty one, definitely add substance to the overall message of the book.

when it comes down to it The Tory Widow is a supremely exciting read, the author on every page demonstrates a strong commitment to historical accuracy through what must have been months, if not years, of diligent research. The characters are flawed in most human of ways making it easy for readers to sympathize with. And for this new author ( Her first book being Midwife of the Blueridge) it is apparent that she is finding a truly enjoyable writing style and direction of her own, I cannot wait to see what she produces next.

The Tory Widow is a great summer read
and to the author; well done
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Anderson on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Anne Peabody is married off to Mr. Merrick, a man twice her age, by her greedy father. On her wedding day, a young printer named Jack Hampton impulsively kisses her, carried away by the revolutionary spirit inspired by the repeal of the Stamp Act. It's her best memory of that otherwise dismal day. Jump forward ten years. It's 1776. Anne is now a widow and working to make ends meet in New York with her loyal friends Sally, a Scottish indentured servant, and Titus, a free black man. She encounters Jack again, this time a more somber Son of Liberty. As the events of the Revolutionary War unfold, so does Anne and Jack's romantic adventure.

The Tory Widow is a historical novel with a very healthy dose of romance. The plot is compelling. The writing is unobtrusive. And the research appears to me to be impeccable. And the characters! I really liked Anne, Jack, and the rest of the cast of characters. And yet, I just wasn't as invested in their fates as I felt I should be. Also, there was a fair amount of bawdiness. The language, in particular, made me pause a couple of times. And, I know this is a romance, but sometimes it was hard to suspend disbelief that a widow in revolutionary times would be so . . . free with her virtue. If you know what I mean. All of that aside, though, this is a well researched, well-written, well-paced historical romance.
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More About the Author

Christine's love for storytelling began before she could read. As a little girl, she would hunker under the covers with her sister, whispering stories to keep from being afraid of the dark. Once she learned to read, she spent a good portion of her childhood with her nose in a book. Christine's romance with the past began with books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcottt - later she discovered Twain, Dickens, Dumas and Sabatini and then on to epic sagas by the likes of Tolkien, Clavell and Michener. It was in these beloved books where she found the pathways to worlds beyond her small neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

Christine eventually left the old neighborhood, completed college, and began a design career. At work she met and fell in love with her fellow designer, Brian Blevins - a truly wonderful guy - and she married him. They had children - four fantastic kids - and eventually the family settled in Elmhurst, Illinois. Christine built a busy life together with Brian, running their graphic design studio, raising their children, and all the while never losing the need to feed a curious mind and become wholeheartedly immersed in a good book.

Christine and Brian share a love for travel, and over their years together, they journeyed all around America and to countries abroad. She was on the Isle of Skye, when a story popped into her head. In itself, this was not an unusual event. She would often while time away making up stories while waiting in line at the grocery, nursing a baby, or filling the moments before falling asleep.

But something was different on Skye. Breathing in the smells of heather moor, and sheep, and salt-sea, Christine listened to the waves lapping the shore of Loch Dunvegan, took in the twilight panorama and let her mind fly away on an adventure. It was her favorite kind of story, complete with a good dose of danger and a dash of romance. And suddenly in this wild place, she was struck by the wild urge to write it all down. Though she'd never written anything other than essays and papers back in her school days, she purchased the first of many spiral notebooks at the airport, and on the flight back began scribbling her Scottish inspired story in longhand. She found her scribbles necessitated research. The research resulted in more scribbling...

Christine wrote the kind of book she loved to read - an adventure story filled with compelling characters and set against a detailed backdrop of vivid history that would transport the reader to another time and place. She learned many things over the two years it took to complete this first novel, the most important being how much she enjoyed researching the details of culture and period, how very much she loved storytelling and writing, and how much more she needed to learn. She tucked her finished manuscript into a box, set it on a shelf, and signed up for a writer's workshop at the community college.

Genealogical research gave impetus to her next effort, which became her first published work. The premise for Christine's debut novel, MIDWIFE OF THE BLUE RIDGE was inspired by the discovery of a pair of Daniel Boone-like Blevins ancestors who were hunters and explorers living on the Virginian frontier in the mid 1700's.

THE TORY WIDOW and it's companion book THE TURNING OF ANNE MERRICK come from her avid interest in the thrilling, romantic and incredible event known as the American Revolution. Christine crafted a story about the men and women who took up arms to wage an impossible war against the world's mightiest superpower. She is at present finishing the third and final book in the series.

Christine continues to draw inspiration from travel and history, and still spends a good amount of time with her nose in a book, scouring up the details that make her stories come alive. Now that her children have grown and gone off on their own, she lives with her husband Brian and their golden-doodle, splitting her time between their home in Elmhurst, and tramping the northern woodlands for fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms and flights of fancy at their lake house in Michigan.

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