04 November 2011

The Prodigal Patriot


First line: Today was a glorious day to be outside, Sally Reid decided as she went about her morning chores.

Publisher's Synopsis:  Sally Reid's family decides on a dangerous course when the Tories of Maple Notch, Vermont, chase Patriot families from their land. They make  a home in a secluded cave nearby and farm their land by moonlight, working hard and waiting for the day when they can safely return home.

When Josiah Tuttle discovers their secret and offers to help, Sally doesn't know if she can trust him. After all, Josiah's father is one of the Tories who forced her family into hiding.

The Tuttles have already lost one son to the hated Patriot cause. How can Josiah both honor his grieving father and protect the woman he loves? When called upon to take a stand, which side will he choose? How can Sally and Josiah battle through the barriers separating them from love and forgiveness?

It took me a bit to get interested in this story. Sally is a sweet enough heroine, living with her parents, two brothers and a young sister in 1777 Vermont. Josiah and his brother and parents are neighbors and friends, for as long as Sally can remember. But the community is in unrest as loyalties are divided between the king and independence, and Sally's and Josiah's families are on opposite sides.

Then tragedy strikes both families, taking a son from one and a father from the other, as tensions escalate. Sally, her pregnant mother, and her two youngest siblings are forced to abandon their home after being threatened by the Tories. But they are determined not to abandon their land, and make a home in a nearby cave, hiding out by day, working their land in the evenings before the moon is too bright for them to be easily seen.

While the first two-thirds of the story move along slowly, the last third suddenly caught fire and became a page turner. I won't say exactly why as I don't want to be spoilery...but in the end it was a pretty gripping read.

(I purchased this book at a library book sale.)

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