Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.
This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino’s own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life–and a legacy–in the New World.
I requested this book because I really like reading about two people who fall in love and they’re married. As you can imagine only certain kinds of books fit into this category. My thoughts:
What I liked:
The historical background. I felt like the author really did her research and was able to successfully combine facts within her story.
The premise. I really liked the idea of making this journey into the new world and them learning to depend upon each other.
Spiritually, I loved that both Mary and Barnabas sought God regularly, even to the point of leaving their home for a chance to serve Him.
What I didn’t like:
This book confused me (or rather the characters did). And not in a good way. Barnabas was a man who loved God very much, to the point where he’s willing to give up everything for Him. But Barnabas also has a reputation for flirting with the ladies (in spite of the fact that he was so in love with Ann!!!!). I think I expected Barnabas to treat Mary badly because he loved his first wife so much. And on the one hand he didn’t (he was very nice and polite and sweet), and on the other hand he talked to Ann (his dead wife) and talked about Ann (his dead wife) to Mary all the time (his current wife). I was a little creeped out. I don’t know how Mary did it, because I would have told him to shut it up. Overall, Barnabas was not a likeable character to me, he was very emotionally controlling and selfish, and he failed to be a hero.
Mary was not a bad heroine. And she was the only one person I really liked. But I failed to connect with her on any level.
I was also confused by Barnabas’s son who was five when his mother died and yet he managed to hold onto her memory so incredibly well for years and years and years. I’ve known kids who have lost parents/parental figures at such a young age. It just hasn’t worked like that for them.
In my opinion, apart from Mary trying to get Barnabas to fall in love with her, the novel didn’t appear to have a page turning plot. I didn’t really know what was going to happen next, and the main characters didn’t really make me want to care. Also, the pacing was funny. Years would go by in an instant and then time would slow down for a day. And then you turned a page and another year had passed. Unfortunately, I found myself skimming towards the last few chapters.
Romantic Scale: 6
Overall, this novel was not my favorite. The writing was great, and the historical details were fascinating, but the characterization didn’t pull me in.
**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**