Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Messenger

Summary: Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

My Take: When you pick up a book by Siri Mitchell, you know it isn't going to be just like anything else you've already read. She has a passion for research and building complex characters who don't always do what you or I might expect of them. They always seem real enough to take their pulse though. 

She has to be the only one who would cast a committed Quaker as a spy. I was as terrified for Hannah as Jeremiah (and as frustrated too). I wondered if this was how the spies of the Bible acted. Did they always tell the truth when they were sent to find out information about the Promised Land? She was brave, determined, and more than a little stubborn. I could feel the tension in the scenes where she wanted to say something, wanted to act, and yet felt powerless to do so. This was a challenge to her sense of right and wrong and a challenge to her ideas about faith and submission.

Jeremiah seems defeated. He has been a member of the British army (before the rebellion) and has the wounds to prove it. He serves those same soldiers in his bar, all the while hating them and everything they stand for. He wants to feel worthy and thinks doing something for the prisoners is his one chance. That desire to make a difference for so many and redeem himself wars with his guilt for endangering Hannah.   

This is a story about two powerful characters that find themselves because of what they go through. They strengthen each other, bring out the best from one another, and come to know life wouldn't be the same without the other one. Because of who they are, this isn't going to be a romance with lots of lingering kisses and stolen moments building on top of one another. You still feel these two building a bridge between each other that is the foundation of a true and lasting love. 

I loved it and am putting it on my favorites list.


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

awesome review! i have this one up next to read. i'm amazed that all of her books have such varied settings. no two are alike.

Margaret Metz said...

Carrie - I'm glad you liked it. She's a great author. I love her books. :o)