My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur--a fur trader who left his family home to find freedom and adventure. He's been gone five years and when he returns, his family's farm is at the mercy of the British invaders.
Torn between the life he's grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, he's drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique Mackenzie, a beautiful local girl who's been befriended by the daughter of the British commander. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases, both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love.
This novel is set in an amazing place and time. I felt like I learned so much about a part of the country and a period in history that was glossed over in my education (I had a horrible history teacher- so tragic!) The characters in this book made it come alive and it was so easy to envision every aspect. My attention was held throughout and didn't feel as though the story was predictable. Because the island is somewhat isolated and caught between two sides in a war, there is a feeling of tension and loneliness and apprehension. Angelique lives in circumstances that elicit pity, yet she is strong, brave, and compassionate. I admired her sacrifice as she kept the mother of Pierre alive through the harsh winter in depraved conditions. Pierre was a bit too cocky for me yet he is undergoing a humbling change as he turns from the ways of his past and moves towards God. Even though the future is uncertain and full of danger, Pierre and Angelique have a camaraderie and banter that make falling in love easy, even though they fight against it for various complicated reasons.
(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)