By Siri Mitchell
Bethany House, $14.99, 375 pages
This story of a strong-minded young Quaker woman and a quiet, reserved tavern owner will keep you turning the pages with anticipation. Alternating between these two narrators – Hannah Sunderland and Jeremiah Jones – this richly detailed, exciting story moves quickly through the action, and each chapter leaves you wanting to read another.
Set in British-occupied Philadelphia in 1778, this story reveals some unlikely heroes willing to risk their lives to do what is right for the patriots of the Revolutionary War. When Hannah’s twin brother ends up in jail, charged as a rebel against Britain, she is torn between following her religion, which strictly forbids getting involved in anything political, and giving in to her heart’s pull to care for her beloved brother. Jeremiah, a reluctant spy for the Colonists, finds that he needs Hannah’s help in a plot to rescue men from the same jail, so they agree to form an unlikely alliance.
As they begin to secretly work together, both struggle with internal conflicts of their own. Hannah’s involvement in this plan goes against her religious beliefs; while Jeremiah’s past wounds continue to trouble his mind and heart. Being strong-willed and determined, each begins to challenge the other to look at the world in new ways and evaluate what really matters to them. A well-written, enthralling historical novel, The Messenger will not disappoint.
Reviewed by Aimee Rasmussen