A Place in His Heart

Title:  A Place in His Heart (The Southold Chronicles #1)
Author:  Rebecca DeMarino
Pages:  336
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Revell
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres as each time I open a new book there is history coming to life in a brand new way.  The author has a vested interest in the tale she shares with readers because of her family’s ancestry being part of the foundation.  Also, while there are gaps in history for the timeframe and place in the book, the author shares her conviction that there just wasn’t time for writing down or making notes of what was occurring because surviving was top priority.
The setting in the book starts with England in the late 1600s and then travels across the ocean to the upper northwest.  The reason families and others were leaving England was due to the increased persecution of those who wanted to bring reform to the Anglican church from within.  These reformers wanted to do away with all the outer grandiose vestments and focus instead on reading the Word of God for themselves during the week.  How interesting is that today many want to divorce themselves from the Word of God to live their own way.  What a change has occurred in society!
The persecution and hope is the larger story that enfolds around the individual characters’ lives within the book.  The two main people are Barnabas and Mary who marry after he had become widowed some months prior and needed a helpmate for his two young boys while he worked.  Mary’s father, John, wished for her to marry the son of a business partner, but saw that hope dying when the forthright Mary became uncooperative. 
Through the trials of crossing the ocean and not knowing what the future would hold, the hardest part was Mary feeling as if Barnabas was withholding his heart form her.  The year’s progress and many life experiences have happened, except the one Mary longs to experience the most.  All Mary wants is to be loved by Barnabas and hear him say words of love to her, but there is something in the way that keeps him from doing so.  As the story continues, readers will be engrossed in the hope Mary has for many things.  They will understand her feelings as so much is happening outside her control.
When the family finally decides where to stay and begin their life in the New World, there is an increase in responsibilities for both Mary and Barny as she likes to call him.  Jay and Ben are her step-sons and while Ben finds it easy to draw near to her, Jay presents a contrast to his brother and changes his actions from one of love to distance on a whim.  The love, hope, faith and endurance required from this family are a reminder that no life is free of hardships or pain, but there is also joy along with choices to make.  I couldn’t close the book until the very end.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, while looking forward to the next installment coming soon!
My rating is 5 stars!
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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