Title: The Chamomile
Author: Susan F. Craft
Publisher: Ingalls Publishing Group, Inc.
Lilyan Cameron is somewhat unique in that she runs her own business in South Carolina in 1780. Her parents are deceased and she lives with her younger brother, Andrew. Andrew has been fighting with the local militia against the British, but was wounded and took an oath to be a loyal subject to King George of England. The penalty for breaking that oath is treason, which could lead to exile or death. Lilyan has also taken the oath in order to save her business, which is her only means of support, but secretly supports the patriots. She soon discovers her brother has taken up arms again against the British and fears for his life.
Captain Nicholas Xanthakos, a young Greek immigrant, is also active in secretly supporting the militia. He takes an immediate liking to Lilyan. With the risk of Andrew’s life, Lilyan feels she must do anything she can to ensure his safety and so asks to be involved in supporting the militia by spying. When the unthinkable happens, she is forced to abandon her home, business and city to make a run for freedom. The feelings between Nicholas and herself continue to grow, but is the time of war really a time for love? Lilyan constantly worries for the safety of those she loves and faces the reality that she isn’t really trusting God to take care of her and her loves ones and provide for their future whatever that may be.
Readers can identify with the struggles of a young Christian woman, who professes her faith, but sometimes has a difficult time living it. Lilyan experiences trials and difficulties any adult would cringe at let alone a 19-year-old orphaned female living in the 1780s. I appreciated all the historical details in the story. I thought the depth of the romance between Lilyan and Nicholas happened too quickly. I would have liked a little more time for them to get to know one another. There also wasn’t quite enough suspense for my taste. However, the premise of the story is a good one, and I do look forward to reading the second book that follows Lilyan’s life a few years later. This book is titled, Laurel, and I will be posting a review soon, so stay tuned!
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