THE TURNING OF ANNE MERRICK
Author: Christine Blevins ISBN: 9780425236796 2/2012 HISTORICAL FICTION Publisher: BERKLEY
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
THE TURNING OF ANNE MERRICK is a sequel I've really looked forward to. After enjoying THE TORY WIDOW last year, I was anxious to find out the fates of main characters Jack Hampton and Anne Merrick, along with secondary characters and fellow patriots Sally, Titus, and David. And as I suspected would be the case, Blevins' writing and storytelling didn't disappoint.
Ms. Blevins takes great pains in painting such an accurate and authentic historical backdrop throughout this sequel that it's nearly impossible not to find yourself transported back into the thick of things, fighting right alongside Jack or spying with Anne as you read from chapter to chapter. Blevin's attention to historical details, from the day-to-day minutiae of camp life to the realistic battle sequences and squalor of the prison hulks, is exemplary, and the new characters introduced into this sequel—i.e., several colorful camp followers and new fighting comrades of Jack's—make for compelling and unforgettable figures.
What makes THE TURNING OF ANNE MERRICK such a winner for me, though, is the last third of the book. Beyond their devotion for each other and their country, Anne and Jack's love and faith in one another is tested as it's never been tested before. I couldn't stop reading—I was completely riveted—as an unexpected character arose from the ashes while Anne's life hung delicately in the balance. What Anne is forced to endure is unimaginable; yet, she never loses her fight, her trust in the man she loves and has placed her faith in, nor does he let her down.
Even if you haven't read the first book, don't worry, as THE TURNING OF ANNE MERRICK stands well enough on its own with just enough back story to keep you from getting lost. But the best thing about this sequel and it's ending? I know that Jack and Anne's story is far from over, and there has to be another book in the works from this gifted writer that will let me experience where this pair will go from here. I can't wait, and I'm counting on it!
Well done, Ms. Blevins. Very well done!