Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Writer's Review of “Rebellious Heart" by Jody Hedlund

 {My Review}

I love that Jody Hedlund can write just about any era in history and still manages to do it flawlessly. Rebellious Heart is her fifth novel and takes place in 1763 off the coast of Massachusetts near Boston. I'm not new to Jody's ways. I know she adores history and loves to find the most interesting tails from the lives of our ancestors to help guide her in her quest for her next fabulous story. This one is loosely based on the friendship and great love between President John Quincy Adams, and his wife Abigail.

Rebellious Heart is the story of long-known acquaintances, Susanna Smith and Benjamin Ross, who are from very different upbringings. I loved that from the first moment we meet them, they are in the midst of watching a terribly unfair murder trial--or from Ben's seat as defending attorney, basically in the midst of losing the trial. But that horrendous first scene is Susanna's first glimpse of Ben in a long time. He's now a self-made man having studied at a prestigious university and rising above his father's low status of simple farmer. But it isn't this fact that grips Susanna's heart--it's "his heartfelt passion for his client and his appeal for compassion" that catches her attention.

From there, Ben and Susanna are thrown into a multitude of situations--including trapdoors to hidden passages in taverns and midnight treks through snowy rain to rescue someone in dire need of saving--that grow their strength and character in a world full of gray areas concerning freedom and justice. Every scene in which they are thrown together simply oozes tension, no matter the fact that for half the book Ben is set on proposing to Susanna's cousin for the sake of bettering his social status. 

The lessons the characters learn throughout Rebellious Heart are so true to their struggles, I can see how Jody's Social Work degree has been put to work in her newest role as author. She knows how people work, why they behave the way they do, and what they need to learn to change for the better. She has an amazingly talented way of bringing these changes out through her fictional characters and the stories she creates around them.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


{About Rebellious Heart}

[Blurb from Goodreads] In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.

Rebellious Heart currently has a rating of 4.15 out of 5 stars (from 172 ratings) on Goodreads. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.         


{More About Jody Hedlund}

Jody has written novels for the last 20 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).
Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), became a best seller and has won multiple awards.
Since then she’s gone on to publish numerous best-selling and award-winning books. To read more about her writing journey on her popular blog, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.



Read all of Jody’s amazing and BEAUTIFUL books!

 [You can click on the pictures to read my review of each].

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