Title: To Capture Her Heart
Author: Rebecca DeMarino
Publishing House/Publication Date: Revell/July, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction; Inspirational Romance
Time Period: 1653 (Age of Enlightenment & Expansionism)
Number of Pages: 352
Series: Book #2 in the ‘The Southold Chronicles’ series
You should read this book if… You enjoy historical novels heavily based on factual, biographical information. Also, for readers who enjoy chronological organization in a series, this story ties in closely with the first book of ‘The Southold Chronicles’, entitled ‘A Place in His Heart’.
Tone and Mood: By opening with tragedy, the stage is set for a story of healing and inner growth. Desperation, sadness, and personal reflection abound, but hope and revelation also break through like rays of light. However, it should also be noted that at times the plot progresses very s-l-o-w-l-y.
Characters and Point of View: Multiple characters reveal their perspectives, weaving an ever-changing tapestry of different, third person viewpoints. On one hand, the history being revealed through fiction is intriguing, and adds a new dimension that history textbooks can never unveil. On the other hand, many of the characters take a lengthy amount of time to step past a flat, one-dimensional depiction of real people, and even by the end of the novel certain portions of dialogue and actions feel stilted and silly. Perhaps this is the result of keeping historical facts correct, while striving to add characterization and story at the same time.
Storyline: The plot centers around Heather Flower, a Native princess, and the repercussions of an attack on her family – primarily, whom will she marry once she steps out of the shadows of mourning? Additionally, the trials and victories of forging a community from a new, untamed wilderness add numerous dilemmas and sub-stories among secondary characters.
Themes and Morals: Undoubtedly Heather Flower’s story is one of discovering hope in despair, and trust in times of unrest and even tragedy. She ultimately gives her life to God, letting go of a painful past and putting her trust in Him.
Inappropriate Content: While this book was not my favourite as far as storyline, it contained little in the way of objectionable content. Occasionally the personal thoughts and desires of key characters bordered on overly descriptive and incongruous, but for the most part it remained quite innocent.
Conclusion: This was a hard story to warm up to. Being steeped in historical accuracy, it was obviously painstakingly researched – it is even based on real people from the author’s ancestral line. It was also a simple historical story, which in many cases is a good thing. However, this book was written in a very basic, unadorned style. Often progressing at a snail’s pace, the characters were simply not vivid enough, for me, to merit the prolonged close of the story. Overall, this novel may appeal to history buffs who are looking for added depth to the enlightenment and expansionism era, and don’t mind a slower pace. But for readers looking for can’t-put-it-down vitality and three-dimensional characters that seem to walk off the page, I suggest looking elsewhere.
I received this book courtesy of Revell Publishers, in participation with the Revell Reads Fiction Blog Tour during the month of July 2015. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.