Thursday, March 8, 2012

Completely and Utterly Captivating! (CFBA)

Posted by Katie Garvin at 5:00 AM

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Messenger
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
Siri Mitchell


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.


Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Messenger, go HERE.


I am rather new to Siri Mitchell's historicals, but after reading this new release I declare myself a very avid fan! The Messenger mixes the perfect blend of intrigue and history--complete with a lovely writing voice that brought the characters to life. I don't know what they is not to like in this book!

The complexity of the two main characters--Jeremiah and Hannah--amazed me. Mitchell did an outstanding job as I watched them grow, change, and struggle throughout the course of the novel. It didn't take long to like Hannah's straightforward speaking and cheer for Jeremiah as he strove to help the prisoners escape. What an unlikely--but suited--pair these two made!

The Messenger is told from both Jeremiah and Hannah's point-of-view, which isn't out of the ordinary...though them both being told in the first-person narrative is. I thought this might make it confusing, but Mitchell handled it extremely well, switching easily between the characters.

Fans of Mitchell are going to be delighted with The Messenger. I have no doubt that it will also earn this talented writer new fans, as well! Especially for those historical fiction readers who love anything set during the Revolutionary war. For me--who loves history as much as I love suspense!--I found The Messenger completely and utterly captivating and sure to please readers!

I reviewed this book for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Thanks to the publishers, Bethany House, for sending me my review copy. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.


Beth said...

Great review, Katie! :) She does that type of narration with a couple of her other novels too, and I thought I'd be thrown off as well, but I soon got into it. She makes it hard not to, huh?

Siri Mitchell said...

So glad you liked this one! Thanks for taking the time to write and post a review.

Happy reading!


4readin said...

I have to look for this book now!
Thank you!

Katie McCurdy said...

Beth - Thanks! Yeah, I've only read She Walks in Beauty, but she does first-person in that one, too. And pulls it off really well.

Oh, yeah! When I realized they were both in first person, I was like "Oh...that might get confusing". But I never felt confused in the least and was sucked right into the plot. Amazing!

Siri - Yes! It was great!! No problem about the review -- I love spreading the news about books I enjoy. And this one was definitely one of them! Recommending to all my friends!!

4readin - Yes, you do. Now!! ;-) You won't regret it!!!

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