Monday, 19 November 2018

Review of "The Liberty Bride" by MaryLu Tyndall, set during the War of 1812

The publisher of this novel asked me to read and review this book. It was a bit different than what I thought it would be.

Let me start with some explanation. I am from Europe, the Netherlands, where religion is a very private thing unless you are a militant Muslim or a Jehova's witness. A lot of people do believe in God or Allah but most will not go public about that. Due to my European roots American patriotism in novels can sometimes grind a bit when it is overdone. Maybe I am more on the English "side" ;-)

Now back to the novel:

First of all romance novels are nowadays often filled with a lot of sex. This one is not! More than a kiss does not happen.  For a short love story the novel does try to be layered and not be shallow. Both parties have trouble reconciling their political beliefs with the fact that they are falling in love with a traitor. After a bit of a slow start a lot of action takes place and to the credit of the writer the lines between the parties get blurred because people respect or befriend people on the other side as well. This writer uses her romance novels also as a way to bring people to Jesus by talking about salvation. It brings depth to the story but for readers from cultures where you do not shout your religion from the rooftops the open referring to God over and over again can be a bit much. Maybe also because in my very strict religious upbringing it can border with blasphemy to preach on every corner of the street as Jesus warns in the New Testament.  I guess it is a difference between American and Dutch culture (I have played wargames online where American players posted daily bible quotes in between "ok we go and kill the purple group" and "Are your armies ready?").

Secondly for people who are not American (or English) the setting of this novel might be a bit confusing. I thought "Americans fighting the British'? Oh it is set during the American revolution. I did not get the traitor thing in a certain scene and then a president Madison was mentioned and I had to open Google. So no American Revolution but the War of 1812 (never heard of to my shame as I am an avid amateur historian). Apparently after the American Independence the British kept supporting the Indians and so a part of the US wanted a war over Canada. After a couple of cities were attacked by the Brits who did not want a war with problems with Napoleon at home and the Americans not gaining what they wanted, a peace treaty was signed and the USA was in isolationists politics for the next century. So the book was an interesting history lesson as well.

I think this novel is a good read for people who likes their stories "clean". Also for people who like to read something in a real historic setting especially Americans who might like to read about the events that let to the composing of their national anthem. For all the foreigners in a second edition it might be handy to include a short introduction explaining the historical setting like "It is ... years after the war of independence and now..."

What makes me wonder: is the period one of the persons is under cover not overly long?

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