Friday, March 09, 2012

The Messenger

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Messenger
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
Siri Mitchell


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.


Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Messenger, go HERE.

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell is a suspenseful historical novel with touches of Mitchell's trademark humor and wit. Hannah Sunderland has never questioned her family's Quaker faith until her twin brother, Robert, leaves it to join up with colonial rebels at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The Quakers refused to take sides with either of the Tories or Patriots, marking them as traitors by both sides. When Robert is captured and placed in prison, Jeremiah Jones quickly seeks to use Hannah as a spy to get messages from General Washington into the prison. Jones who owns a tavern patronized by the King's troops, has built an identity as a loyal Tory with a good friend in General Howe's office, but he's really seething with anger and bitterness toward the British after losing his arm fighting for them years ago. Hannah and Jeremiah clash often as they try to save the prisoners dying inside from starvation and illness, their own personal philosophies seem so far apart, but the prisoners' fate draws them together, until Hannah begins to question the morality of the Quakers' refusal to help them. Mitchell, who started out writing Christian chick lit, manages to insert some lightness into this dark and tragic story. Jeremiah's frustration at a spy who refuses to lie is a delight to readers who know that the pair are meant to be together. But Mitchell also knows how to ratchet up the tension, bringing readers to a conclusion that will leave them gasping for breath. This isn't a genre I'm normally a fan of, but I love anything Mitchell writes, and she proves her capability as a writer by making this story truly compelling and enthralling, and she's done her research. As a Revolutionary War buff myself, my proverbial hat is off to her.


Siri Mitchell said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed my book! I'm glad I got the period right. Thanks for taking the time to write and post a review.

Happy reading,