Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Place In His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

About the book: Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas's secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary's world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister?

And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband's broken heart?

My thoughts: As I began reading A Place in His Heart, I was immediately captivated by the setting, characters, and author’s writing. I was especially thrilled to read the quotation from the Bible in the early part of the book. I sensed the quote was from an old version so I check the front pages and saw that Biblical quotes were from the Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Often an author (I am sure bowing to preferences of her readers) uses modern translations or version when they quote the Bible. That, however, is a true turn—off for me. I give Rebecca DeMarino a 10-out-of-10 points for authenticity by delving into a version accurate to the time and place.

Since the story is based on the author’s family history dating back to the 1600s, her research into the Horton family is to be commended.

After the first 50 or so pages, the story began to drag and was repetitious – at least to this reader. The gist of the story is a young woman is about to be given in marriage to a man she simply does not wish to marry. But another man desires to take her “to wife” and to be the mother of his two young boys. His wife, Ann, whom he loved greatly, having just recently died. They seem to be agreeable to marriage and the wedding takes place.  Soon it becomes evident that Barnabas has not told Mary all. He plans to soon move to The Massachusetts Bay Area to escape the encroaching discipline of the Church of England on those who believe in a Reformed church.

They prepare to leave, travel across the Atlantic, and begin to settle into life in their new home. Much of the story is given over to this period of their life and it seems to drag.

The author writes well and for a debut novel this is a good book. I’m giving it a 4-star rating because I felt the writing was good, her research very well done, and for the beautiful cover. I probably would give it a 3-star for not being able to retain my interest, but I’ll just boost it to a 4-star since the inattentiveness could simply be my own.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.

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