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Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains: 2-in-1 Collection Paperback – May 9, 2013
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Thorns in Eden--the Everlasting Mountains by Rita Gerlach is a gorgeous blending of Regency romance and the classic novels of James Fennimore Cooper. I read spellbound as the British heroine moved from stately parlor in England to the rough and untested lands of Maryland.
Christine Lindsay, author of 'Captured by Moonlight'.
Rita Gerlach captures the feel of Colonial America in her sweeping saga, Thorns in Eden. With lush descriptions and well-drawn, captivating characters, Gerlach creates a story I won't soon forget. Jamie Carie, award-winning author of "Snow Angel".
Rita Gerlach is a true storyteller who writes from the heart, the soul, from her heritage.
Deborah MacGillivray, author of "A Restless Knight".
From the Author
On the corner of Bentz and 2nd Streets across from the majestic stone Methodist church in the historic district of Frederick, Maryland, is a plot of ground where the remains of Revolutionary War patriots lay beneath green sod.
Their chiseled tombstones are buried with them, their names now unknown to those whose feet tread over them while visiting the War Memorial and the Ten Commandments Stone. This book is dedicated to those brave patriots who fought for America's liberty, whose names are written in the Book of Life.
To all those in need of courage in the face of danger, peace in the midst of trouble, comfort in a time of loss, and hope in moments of despair.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 KJV
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What I Thought
The author intertwined the story line into 1770s history very well, and she went deeper than the typical surface issues between England and the American Colonies.
In England, Mrs. Gerlach touched on the disparity between the aristocracy and the poor, as well as the plight of those who sympathized, or even agreed with, the complaints of the Colonies against the King. While she focused more on what was going on with the Indian raids on the colonial western frontier than between the Loyalists and Tories within towns, she didn't fail to leave out suspicions of new visitors from England, the Acts being passed by Parliament, and the attempt to starve out Boston.
Many parts were hard to read, but only because of the brutality common in the time period: in America, the Indian raids that ended in scalpings, and in England, the immediate hangings of those who believed to aiding the colonists. The author also brought to life the lack of mercy on any side, the brutality within some on all sides, and the lack of respect for many; several tough topics that the author wrote about faithfully.
Yet the storyline kept me reading. The main characters were well developed and believable, struggling through issues of faith as well as the social and political turmoil of their day. I particularly enjoyed Thorns in Eden, although it ended in a bit of a cliffhanger, so I was thankful The Everlasting Mountains was just a turn of the page away.
About the only reason I downgraded my rating is the editing of both books. I didn't see an overwhelming amount of mistakes, but still enough for me to make a mention of it. Some were simple errors, others were minor storyline problems, but many of them pulled me out of the story to either figure out what was really meant or to consider whether I had missed something.
The Bottom Line - 4 stars
In spite of the editing issues, this book is well worth reading, and I would have no trouble picking up another book by this author. Her story telling skills are very good and her knowledge and research of the time period and locations are excellent. If you like historical romance or fiction dealing with pre-revolutionary America, I recommend giving these books a try.
Due to the death of her father, Rebecah Brent lives with her uncle in Endfield Manor in virtual isolation. Because of past secrets, Samuel Brent does not hide the fact that he despises his niece, and plans to marry her off to a wealthy landowner. However, a glorious encounter with John Nash, a colonial who comes to visit his parents in England, forever changes the course of Rebecah's life.
As she follows after John to the colonies of America (not knowing whether he will have her or not), she has no idea of the dangers that lie in wait for her; testing her very soul, mind, and body. As the fear of Indian attacks and the onset of the Revolutionary War consume her and the colonists, Rebecah is faced with an even greater danger. John's worst enemy, a man seeking vengeance who has no allegiance to any tribe or nation, will stop at nothing to have her for his own. Is Rebecah and John's love doomed from the very beginning?
I have read and loved all of Rita Gerlach's books, but this one truly reinforced what I already knew. Rita Gerlach is one of the strongest voices and greatest talents in historical fiction today. Her extensive research and knowledge of colonial life, realistic fleshed out characters, and an intriguing, emotive, intense storyline established this as one of the best books I have read this year! My heart pounded as Rebecah sought to escape her Indian captors, and soared with the beauty of her and John's love story. Guaranteed to keep you burning the midnight oil, make sure to put this one at the top of your wishlist!
My complaint is something that bothers me with many ebooks - poor editing. One that really stood out was "ice sickles" for "icicles".