Title: The Messenger
Author: Siri Mitchell
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith… until her twin brother joined the Colonial cause and ended up in jail. She longs to bring some measure of comfort to him in the squalid prison, but her faith forbids it. The Friends believe that they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. She is not allowed to visit him, even if she were able to secure a pass.
Jeremiah Jones, a Colonial spy, needs access to the jail to help rescue men important to the cause. Upon meeting Hannah, a plan begins to develop. Who would suspect a pious Quaker visiting a loved one?
But Jeremiah is unprepared for Hannah, for her determination to do right, to not lie. How can one be a spy and not lie? Hannah, in turn, is surprised by Jeremiah… for the way he forces her to confront her own beliefs, for the sensitivity and concern that he shows her despite the wounds he still carries.
In a time of war, can two unlikely heroes find the courage to act?
Hannah Sunderland has always been a good, obedient Quaker. Then her brother, who left the Meeting to become a rebel soldier, is captured and imprisoned. Hannah is determined to help him if she can, or at least see him and make sure he’s all right. Jeremiah Jones is a tavern keeper who lost his arm while battling Indians with the British army. Now disillusioned and resigned to a life of misery, he joining the colonials’ fight against the British in the only way he can: by taking their coins and any information the soldiers share while in his tavern. In order to succeed in their personal missions, Hannah and Jeremiah must rely on each other. But can they ever learn to trust each other?
This is a story of courage and sacrifice, of faith and doing the right thing no matter the cost. Hannah and Jeremiah both start with beliefs that are in opposition to each other, or so they think. As the story progresses, the reader travels along with them as they undertake a journey of discovery regarding faith, religion, and what it means to do the right thing. Written with insight and historical accuracy, this book will take the reader back to Philadelphia in 1778 and give a glimpse into the trials faced by the citizens and the turmoil created by the British occupation. The twists and turns in the plot and Hannah and Jeremiah’s personal growth will keep readers turning the pages late into the night. The element of faith is woven beautifully into the story and is an integral part of every decision Hannah makes.
Siri Mitchell has done a marvelous job of capturing the essence not only of the time period, but also of Quaker beliefs of the time. From the style of speech to the behavior of the characters, the differences between the Friends and the other characters is shown in a realistic manner. I was drawn into the story from the beginning and soon lost myself in the pages, eager to find out what happened next. This is a book I highly recommend for anyone who loves historical novels.