Four Stars, Jennifer Moore, Low Language, Low Religion, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence

Sides

I’ve been trying to teach my kids that there are multiple sides to every conflict. Every time they come running to me ready to tattle, “Sister/Brother…” I stop them there, “I don’t want to know what they did, what did you do?” Every single time the next sentence goes something like this, “Well I…but…” So often we don’t see the other person’s point of view or our own culpability.

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Struggling alone on the family farm, Abigail Tidwell knows exactly who to blame for her hardships: the Americans. If it weren’t for their part in the war, her father and brothers would be home rather than fighting abroad. But no amount of antipathy could have prepared her for the shocking sight of a wounded American soldier on her property, a man in dire need of her help. Grudgingly, Abigail tends to the soldier’s injuries and anticipates the satisfaction of turning him over to the authorities once he is healed. But fate has other plans. Captain Emmett Prescott remembers little of the ambush on his men by a group of Shawnee Indians and even less about how he arrived in the unfamiliar barn.

After being nursed back to health by beautiful, if reluctant, Abigail, Emmett would do anything to save the men he left behind—including forcibly enlisting Abigail’s help. Soon, Abigail finds herself caught between two countries at war. And as her attraction for Emmett grows, her conflicted heart engages in its own silent battle. But when she is accused of treason for her actions, her survival rests in the hands of the very man she once considered her enemy.

This novel was not only a beautiful blend of fact and fiction, but also a good reflection of the feelings on both sides of the conflict.

The author used clever ways of transitioning between chapters and topics. She was able to balance between the heavy, the chemistry and the light making the story all those things, yet not too much.

Near the end when Abigail and Emmett separate I was unclear about the cause of the split. The author did a great job of showing the respective characters inner thoughts, but they never really expressed them to each other. I was left feeling odd about the whole exchange and confused on why they hadn’t actually communicated with each other. When they said essentially, I’m staying and you’re leaving and there’s no middle ground, it was disconcerting.

I appreciated the conversation between Emmett and his sister that cleared up his lack of understanding of her being needed and wanted. It gave a good resolution to the characters she’d created, but I feel like the conflict could have still been there and the split still happened but with a little more communication to not leave the reader confused and at odds with the story.

The rest of romance and the conflict the war created was just the right about of sweetness and adventure.

See our review of Emmett’s sister Lydia’s book “The Shipbuilder’s Wife” here.

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