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The Turning of Anne Merrick Paperback – February 7, 2012


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The Turning of Anne Merrick + The Tory Widow + The Widow's War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 Original edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042523679X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425236796
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,653,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Blevins excels at carefully researched and meticulously detailed gritty historical fiction set around pivotal American conflicts."
--Booklist

"The setting feels authentic, and the drama and action compels you to turn the pages... Blevins' research is impeccable, and the details of everyday life in this time period are masterful."   --The Historical Novels Review

Blevins deftly blends a vividly detailed historical setting with richly nuanced characterization and just the right dash of romance. - Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Christine Blevins lives on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. She is also the author of Midwife of the Blue Ridge.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
You'll love her sassy Scottish accent and "in your face" retorts.
Great Historicals
I will definitely be reading the first book in the series and will keep a look out for the next chapter to come.
Colleen T.
The details she has researched about everyday life in the colonies is woven in the story beautifully.
Tanya

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Q @ Let Them Read Books VINE VOICE on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first novel in this series, The Tory Widow, and I was excited to have the chance to be part of the blog tour for the follow-up. I ended up enjoying The Turning of Anne Merrick even more. It begins right in the thick of things, with Anne, Jack, and the rest of the gang covertly working for the patriot cause on the eve of the Battle of Saratoga. The synopsis gives a nice overview of the story and I won't go into the plot for fear of spoiling anything from either book, but I will say that I'm a big fan of the American Revolution and pretty much anything related to it, and The Turning of Anne Merrick is a welcome and satisfying addition to my collection. It encompasses everything I like in a book: lots of history, a historical setting that comes to life, memorable characters, a great love story, some action and adventure, some tears and laughter, and a plot that keeps me turning the pages and guessing at the outcome.

I really only have one quibble. Blevins does a wonderful job of bringing the time period to life, but I found the historical description to be too much at times, slowing the momentum of the story. In some places I appreciated the in-depth detail, but in others I found myself skimming to get back to the action. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that so many of the secondary characters were based on historical record. They are woven seamlessly throughout the story with the fictional characters. I think that's helped along by the subject matter, and it's part of what I love so much about the American Revolution; so many of the patriots we still honor today were just regular, everyday people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lucinda on May 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
This historical novel set in 1777 is centered on the great battle between the British Empire and America, who are both fighting for freedom, independence and civil rights. You are taken on a journey of discovery through the eyes of the main characters Anne and Jack, on a perilous quest through the ravages of War as a retelling of this evocation within time & an event that is most poignant and memorable. From the very first moment that you open the first page you are plunged into a world that is completely authentic and which projects the very period with such vivid realism as to transport you back in time. The detailed research that the author has undertaken mixed with passion, imagery and detail brings the story to life before your very eyes illuminating the black words into florescent color, which is a testament to Christine Belvin's writing skill within such a challenging genre. Instantly you are taken on a rollercoaster of a journey that is sparked with tension, drama, adventure and surprise that will shock, amaze and delight and which made me speed on wanting to read further into this gripping saga. Once I had begun reading I was completely captivated and unable to put the book down, due to the use of language and emotion within a fascinatingly detailed and intriguing plot. The fast-pace was continued throughout the book, without it ever loosing any momentum which was spurred on by the unfolding drama and unforgettable, distinctly interesting characters that I found myself able to relate to and empathize with greatly; in regards to their thoughts, feelings and views.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Viviane Crystal VINE VOICE on March 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Anne Merrick is a spy for the Revolutionary Army in the late 1700s in the colonies. Jack Hampton and she are deeply in love but don't get many opportunities to be together. Caught up in the war between the Patriots and the British, Anne is spying in the camp of the enemy, having fled New York City after killing a British officer, Edward Blankenship. Though they are outnumbered by the British in manpower and weapons, the Patriots are slowly but surely winning the Saratoga campaign. But all is not so easy for Anne as she and her friend Sally see what war is like up close. They cook and care for wounded British soldiers, and they have to frequently remind themselves in the middle of suffering and death who they are supporting and why. Still Anne never loses her feisty nature and can swing between joking and compassionate care without missing a heartbeat!

After a phenomenal victory, Anne and Jack head for General Washington's camp at Valley Forge, where the situation is dire as they are surviving with a serious dearth of food and clothing in the middle of a fierce winter. Here Anne helps out in the middle of this dire situation; the strength of Anne and Jack is that the Cause of Liberty is worth everything and anything. Such determined focus is amazing on page after page after page!

Returning to Philadelphia Anne returns to her former role as owner of what we know as a coffeehouse and a collector of information from a carefully planned network of spies. With her charm and vitality, she manages, as she did in Saratoga,to charm the elite and thus learn of even more important British secrets. However, things begin to go awry when the man she thought she killed is met, alive and well and on recognition determined to have revenge on his would-be killer.
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