What a brilliant debut novel from this author! This is masterpiece writing. Two stories. Two eras.Weaving it all together to bring about history with the present.
The story begins with Anaya in the year of 2013. The Boston Marathon is the backdrop for this character. Patriots Day is a day this character will never forget. The bombing is a part of her life. No running from it. It's impacted her life and also her family in ways one never expects.
Now chapter two begins the story of Liberty in the year of 1770. A Patriot is she, but working for the enemy she finds herself at a crossroads. She has been waiting for her brother. She must decide to show honor to him and for the Patriots or to follow a love of one her brother would call the enemy.
As we journey with these two characters we are introduced to those who surround their lives. We see powerful emotion as these characters come to life on these black and white pages. Love, forgiveness, redemption, Salvation. It's all here.
We see their inner struggles as they try to be strong. Boston strong. But what I love is that these characters uncover the only strength to truly set them free comes only from Jesus. It cannot be found in man or object.
I enjoyed both stories and of course how they are woven together. But I couldn't wait to get to the chapters of Liberty. Her story was truly powerful for me. A different time. One of such fear, but a time of such hope. It is up to each person just which will be their focus.
Anaya's family is impacted by the Boston Marathon. I love the reality in this character. Instead of standing by her family, seeing them through this tragedy, she runs and stays away. She returns to her family and finds a divided reunion. Most of all the division lies within her own heart. She holds much guilt. But isn't sure how to move forward, until she meets the man who saved her life that day of the race. Together they form a bond, a friendship forms and between them something wonderful happens.
He had left her with something on the day he saved her life. She wants to return this gem, but as she does he comes up with the idea to find the history behind it. Yay!! This is where the story of Liberty really takes off. She lets her guard down. She is little by little allowing another into her life. She has feared so much. Through this friendship, she uncovers just how real the PTSD is that in which she has suffered.
Yes, there are many aspects to this novel. Something for everyone to relate to on one level or another. Chiavaroli allows us to see the heart of these characters in a remarkable way. Seeking freedom through so many things, searching for a peace that is lasting, these ladies of freedom, who through the circumstances of their life, through tragedy, come to find what a love greater than anything they can compare.
We see that it takes courage to move forward, to not allow the tragedy to steal away more than it already has. To seek hope, faith, and love, we must give room in our lives for God to move. Grace and second chances is reachable, especially when our Lord is making way to reveal All He is to us.
Healing begins. God restores. Beauty is from ash. Strong writing with a poignant story that shines light into faith in Christ. Yes, this is one of those memorable reads that will remain with me. If you love historical and contemporary fiction, this is one you don't want to pass up.
This novel was a gift from Tyndale for sharing my review with you.
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston's Freedom Trail. She writes women's fiction in the historical category. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Visit her online at heidichiavaroli.com.