On a bright May day, Anne Peabody receives an unexpected kiss from a stranger. Bringing news of the repeal of the Stamp Act, Jack Hampton, a member of the Sons of Liberty, abruptly sweeps Anne into his arms, kisses her- and then leaves her to the fate of an arranged marriage…
New York City, 1775
Anne, now the Widow Merrick, is struggling to survive in a city on the brink of war. In a time when Loyalists are tarred and feathered, Anne continues her late husband’s business, printing Tory propoganda, not because she believes in the cause but because she needs the money to survive. When her shop is ransacked by the Sons of Liberty, Anne once again comes face-to-face with Jack Hampton. But he is no longer the optimistic youth she remembers. Despite her better judgment, Anne finds herself drawn to both the ardent patriot and his rebel cause.
As shots ring out at Lexington and war erupts, Anne is faced with a life-altering decision: Sit back and watch her world be torn apart, or take a stand and fight for both her country’s independence and her own…
As a child, I read a fair amount of Revolution-themed historical fiction. It’s been a long time since I’ve read historical fiction centered specifically on the American Revolution, and reading The Tory Widow reminded me of all the things I love about historical fiction set in this era. Anne, Jack, and their friends were readable, likable characters, and the romance between Anne and Jack felt organic and real.
I was concerned that the inclusion of real historical figures would seem forced and contrived, but thankfully Blevins chose to focus more on her characters, and the historical figures are peripheral. However, there was just enough historical fact to make me want to spend some time reading non-fiction and history about the period, which for me is always a huge selling point for historical fiction.
Overall, I thought this was much better than Blevins’ debut novel, Midwife of the Blue Ridge, which I read last year and liked but didn’t love. I’m very glad I gave her a second chance, and I’d definitely recommend this book to fans of historical romance set during the Revolution.
(Summary taken from the back cover of the novel)
(I received this book free from LibraryThing as part of their early reviewers program earlier this year)