- Series: An Anne Merrick Novel
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 7, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425226018
- ISBN-13: 978-0425226018
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tory Widow (An Anne Merrick Novel) Paperback – April 7, 2009
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About the Author
Christine Blevins is a former graphic designer and historical fiction writer. She is the author of The Tory Widow, The Turning of Anne Merrick, and Midwife of the Blue Ridge. A graduate of the Harrington College of Design, she now lives in Illinois.
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This is not a typical romance novel, and that's exactly what I loved about it! The plot has sweet moments, and the typical misunderstandings between couples struggling to trust each other in their growing relationship, but mostly it reflects the harsh and deadly realities of revolutionary times. And that IMHO is to the author's credit!
I disagree with one reviewer about these characters being shallow in "why they are patriots"... Anne's reasoning was very understandable, and Jack's is clearly demonstrated through his relationship with his "free man" best friend, his renegade attitude toward certain missions, and his solemn seriousness in the scene when printing a very important historical document. I do agree with another reviewer who said the 8-month delay in the hero's return, leaving heroine to fend for herself in British-occupied NY, was not explained well enough to suit my needs as a reader, and without that justification (aside from a typical "it's war"), Jack dropped down a rung on the hero ladder...and in a way was made more human by that fault.
I did love the edginess of suspense caused by the very nature of "spying during a war", and the ending was very realistic for me. (Jack is not the faultless heroic knight on a white charger. He's a printer-turned patriot spy, so when facing off against an experienced British captain, trained in the art of battle, things can't "realistically" go all Jack's way.) The author did a superb job with this, and I thank her for not copping out by weakening the antagonist to give the protagonists an easier resolution. Yeah, I felt sympathy for the betrayed Captain who entertained an honest affection for our beloved, albeit deceptive widow, but that's as it should be. It's war after all, and even though I don't always like cliff-hangers, this one was well received, since I quickly opened book #2 in this series and immediately continued reading more about The Turning of Anne Merrick (from Tory Widow to Patriot Spy).
For me, this one is a keeper.
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.
Overall, I enjoyed reading "The Tory Widow" although I will admit that the book was uneven, and there were parts that I enjoyed more than others. I wish Blevins had stuck with telling the story from Anne's perspective, instead of switching between Anne and Jack. Blevins had a stronger voice and seemed like a better writer when writing from Anne's perspective. I got a little bored during Jack's sections, since I read the book because I wanted a woman's perspective, not a mans. I think Blevins did a lot of research, and her portrayal of the period feels accurate. I just would have preferred if she had stuck with a single perspective.
If you are interested in the Revolutionary period, especially in New York City, I would recommend this book. It's a fun romance romp through the revolutionary period, just be warned if you don't like shifting narrators.