Saturday, October 5, 2013

Litfuse Blog Tour: The Courier of Caswell Hall

The Courier of Caswell Hall (American Tapestries)Author: Melanie Dobson
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Summerside Press
Series: American Tapestries

An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution.

As the British and Continental armies wage war in 1781, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner feels conflict raging in her own heart. Lydia Caswell comes from a family of staunch Loyalists, but she wavers in her allegiance to the Crown.

On the night the British sail up the James River on a mission to destroy the new capital, Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall. Fearing his identity but unwilling to leave him for dead, she secretly nurses him back to health. The man identifies himself as Nathan, a Patriot—and an enemy. But Lydia’s American sympathies grow, and when British officers return to the plantation, Lydia must help Nathan escape.

Privy to conversation among the officers at Caswell Hall, Lydia begins delivering secret messages to the Patriots in Williamsburg. When she overhears a plot to assassinate General Washington, she must risk her life to alert Nathan before it’s too late.

She only hoped that the British wouldn’t stop at her house. No matter what happened, she wouldn’t – couldn’t – entertain them. They could take all she had, but nothing could make her give up this fight for freedom.

She knew it would be a miracle if he lived until morning. Thankfully, she still believed in miracles.

“You are talking like a rebel.”

This is a new time period for me, the Revolutionary War, but an author that I have followed for a few years now. Dobson is phenomenal in the historical fiction field and this story justifies that entirely. The action starts when Lydia Caswell saves a man from drowning for cold night. Lydia, a current Royalist, suspects this man is a Patriot, going against everything her family believes, but she makes the decision that she cannot just leave him to die. British soldiers decide to stay at Caswell Hall, and suddenly Lydia is faced with some heavy decisions that weigh on her heart and mind. What will she choose? Lead the life she has always known? Or give adventure a chance?

Lydia’s character was very well-written and she had my sympathy from the start. I cannot imagine living in a time when you must decide what to call yourself, a Loyalist or a Patriot, and choosing one or the other might mean that you sacrifice yourself and your family or close loved ones. The historical elements were nicely written and really reflected the reactions, emotions, and concerns of people during this time period. Everything was solemn and any wrong word or look to a simple passerby could cost you your life. Lydia was brave, more brave than I probably ever would have been.

My favorite part of this book was watching Lydia’s values change. She has grown up as a diehard Royalist her entire life, but once she met Nathan and saw what America was feeling and fighting for, her thoughts on the subject began to change. People change every day and certain circumstances can put certain things into perspective. Lydia only knew one side until she met Nathan, and I loved how Dobson used that to twist the entire story and to take Lydia, and myself, on an amazing adventure!

***A copy of this book was provided to me for the purposes of a Liftuse Blog Tour, in which I read and review the book sharing my honest thoughts***

1 comment:

  1. Great review and quotes. This sounds interesting. I like the cover, too.