Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jody Hedlunds's Novel: Rebellious Heart

Title:  Rebellious Heart
Author:  Jody Hedlund
Pages:  368
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bethany House
What an excellent story!  I have read all of Jody Hedlund’s other books and have found them immensely enjoyable.  This one is no exception.  This story takes place in Massachusetts in the year 1763. It is a fictional tale showing what the early years of courtship and romance might have been like for John and Abigail Adams, the future President of the United States and his first lady.
Ben Ross (John Adams) is a young lawyer, who has returned home to start his law practice.  He has grown up the son of a poor farmer, but aspires to much more.  He wants a good reputation and social status and has decided he will marry a woman who has both, along with wealth, to gain a foothold in society so as to launch and then expand his law practice.  He renews his acquaintance with Susanna Smith (Abigail) due to his best friend’s romantic interest in Susanna’s sister, Mary.  Ben and Susanna are together often to act as chaperones for the couple.  Ben also has realized the price of being British subjects has come at too high a cost.  He resents how the colonists are treated by the Crown and has begun to do something about it.  However, the more time he spends with Susanna, the more he begins to admire her keen mind, compassion and pertness.  Ben knows Susanna would never agree to a courtship between them because she has been groomed by her mother to make a good match, and Ben doesn’t have the social standing or the wealth to be considered such.  Can Ben really capture her heart?
Susanna Smith comes across a runaway girl hiding in the orchard.  She soon befriends the runaway, but at what cost?  She entreats Ben to help her find legal recourse for the young woman.  Soon Ben and Susanna have the local British soldiers breathing down their neck, trying to find this runaway girl.  She is an indentured servant and has escaped with time left to be served on her contract.  Harboring a runaway indentured servant has severe penalties for both the discovered servant and the concealer.  Susanna begins to see Ben as courageous, brave and intelligent.  She wants a future with him, but knows her mother won’t approve.  Susanna also begins to doubt her blind loyalty to the Crown and sees the rebellious colonists in a new light.  Will she be brave enough to do the right thing in God’s eyes even if it is against the law of man?
“He’s guilty of murder.”  This is the first sentence of the book and once you start reading, you won’t be able to put this book down.  I just love how Jody recreates fictional accounts of historical figures’ lives and how they might have been lived.  She imbues her characters with real thoughts and emotions that just jump off the page they seem so real.  I really enjoy the Author’s Note she includes at the end of the story where she tells of her research and what events and characters in her fictional story actually took place and what some of their thoughts were in real life.  She has a talent I find fascinating, and she definitely has the God-given gift of storytelling.  You don’t want to miss reading this great book!  I highly recommend it.  I can’t wait to see who Jody writes about next!
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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