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Scarlet Coat (Hearts at War) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Colonist Rachel Garnet searches for her father and brother in the aftermath of a battle, but how will she find them in this sea of bodies? Praying they both survived she continues on, miraculously finding her brother, Joseph, alive! However Joseph informs her their father died in battle. Grieving the loss of their father they begin their long journey home when Rachel hears what sounds like a moan from among the dead soldiers. Could there be someone alive in all this death? Convincing her brother they couldn't leave him there to die, they search for the soldier only to learn that he is a British Army captain—their enemy! Torn between their moral convictions learned at their now deceased mother's knee—to love their enemies, do good to those who hate them as the Bible teaches—and the possibility of being branded traitors and worse if caught harboring the enemy, they decide to take him home to die...since he is barely alive and won't last more than a day, they could at least offer him a place to die relatively comfortably—except he doesn't die as they thought he would. What do they do with him now? How do they keep him hidden away? Tensions mount as there appears to be a traitor among their friends and neighbors.
British Army Captain Andrew Wyndham was badly wounded, but he can't remember being wounded and can't even remember his own name. As he continues to heal and gain strength, albeit slowly, he grows attached to those caring for him, especially the lovely Rachel. He soon learns that he is their enemy and has put them in grave danger if it were found out he was here hidden away in there home, but has not the strength to leave as yet.
Rachel and Andrew are my favorite characters. I was hoping they would find a way to overcome the fact that they were “enemies” and at least become friends. Of course, they're caught up in the middle of a war so it was unlikely. I cannot imagine hiding a seriously injured “enemy” away in my home while caring for their wounds until they could be whisked away to a safe place. Of course, it probably helped somewhat that the neighbors lived so far from each other, even so, the tension must have been extreme. The courage Rachel and Joseph had to stand up for their godly convictions despite the possible danger to their very lives if found out is remarkable. That is the kind of spirit this country is founded on.
As I turned each page I was caught up in the historic details as they are were brought to life in this dramatic American Revolution story. Real-to-life characters face challenges, suspense, war, joy, grief, betrayal, unexpected twists and turns with some surprises I had not seen coming, a sweet romance and love—which seem impossible, forgiveness, faith and grace all woven together in this gripping and heartwarming story.
“The last rays of sun faded into twilight, and the wind whispered through the trees, as if warning Rachel to turn back.”
The entire first chapter of this book was compelling. Who am I kidding? The whole book was compelling! Reading the first chapter, though, I felt like a fish on a line being reeled in. And it just kept going. I did not want to put this book down.
Rachel Garnet – This heroine has a quiet strength and realistic internal struggles which make her a pleasure to read about.
Joseph Garnet – Rachel’s brother isn’t just an ancillary character. He has depth and undergoes an emotional journey of his own.
Andrew Wyndham – The soldier spared from a slow, agonizing death by Rachel’s unexpected compassion has an interesting backstory which is revealed in pieces as he recovers. I dare not say more lest I reveal too much.
Daniel Reid – A neighbor and family friend whose loyalty is put to the test.
Fannie Reid – A neighbor and family friend just coming into womanhood and the interests that come with it.
Rodney Cowden – The neighbor most vocal about his hatred of the British.
Each of these characters are well-developed, as revealed by the believable choices they make in the circumstances that face them throughout the book.
Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:
This story drew me in. I could clearly picture the world of these characters and I cared deeply about the choices they were making. The pacing was not so intense that I wanted to skim paragraphs in an eagerness to reach the next event, but it definitely kept me reading page after page. There were twists in the story which I did not see coming and that is always a great comment to be able to make about a book.
Elements I especially liked/disliked:
This book felt like a journey back in time. Instead of viewing the Revolutionary War from the distant, almost omniscient and impersonal perspective we were taught in school, this story takes us into the home and personal lives of just one family. We get a sense of what it might have been like to live through that time of war and be called upon at any moment to take up arms and fight. To know what it was like to kiss your loved ones goodbye, never knowing if they would return home alive or be carted home as a corpse in a wagon.
The primary themes are compassion, forgiveness, loyalty, and the ethics of war from a biblical perspective.
Just when you think it’s all over, there’s a twist. Rachel and Andrew are certainly sent through the wringer, but the ending the author creates is all the better for it. The Scarlet Coat provides a thoroughly satisfying conclusion, but I must admit I am eagerly anticipating the release of the second book in this series: The Patriot and The Loyalist, coming April 7, 2017.
5 out of 5 stars
I won a free copy of this book but was under no obligation to provide any review at all.
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