Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Surrender the Wind

Author: Rita Gerlach
Publisher: Abingdon Press
August 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4267-0072-9
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Seth Braxton fought with the Patriots during the Revolutionary War, and his life was saved by a compassion man when he was captured and sentenced to death by hanging. But life after the war wasn’t all easy. Seth’s Virginia home was damaged during the war, and his father has died.

Soon, however, Seth receives a surprise: his estranged grandfather has died and has left his English estate to Seth. Seth is thrilled with the prospect of reuniting with his younger sister, but wary of going to England after fighting against them during the war. Seth goes to the lawyer and tells them he is unable to go to England, but the lawyer convinces him to at least visit his sister. The decision is made when Seth sees the portrait of the lawyer’s niece, Juleah, and promptly falls in love, though he doubts that they will be attracted if they meet in person.

When Seth arrives in Devonshire, he finds his sister ill, and mourning the death of her two-year-old son. Juleah happens to be on hand, and Seth is instantly smitten, though loving Juleah seems to open a sinister plot of murder, abduction, and betrayal.

SURRENDER THE WIND is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Gerlach. I’d thought this might be her debut novel, but upon some investigation I find she has three previous novels published. The plot line is well thought out, with plenty of conflict and tension to keep the pages turning.

The conversation between all the characters is a bit stilted, but that might be how people talked during the early days of our country. The setting is expertly described, so much so that I could feel the drafts and the chill in some of the scenes. I couldn’t help but care for Seth, his sister Caroline, and Juleah, as well as some secondary characters. There are some heartbreaking moments so be sure to read this book with a box of tissues close by.

SURRENDER THE WIND is a good read, and though at times, all seems to be lost, the characters’ strength and faith keep them going. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 383 pages.

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