Saturday, March 2, 2019

Review: "Between Two Shores" by Jocelyn Green

I am a reader who always wants her books to have a happy ending. Almost every book I read has at least an element of romance ... and one thing every good romance novel has is a happy ending! Between Two Shores does have a happy ending, but not in the way I anticipated.

The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war.

Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays . . . until attempts on Samuel's life convince her he's in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She's risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated?

Set in Canada during the French & Indian War, Between Two Shores is the story of Catherine Duval, a mixed-race woman trying to straddle the line between being Mohawk and French. While the novel is about war, it's also about Catherine's family: her French father who abandoned the family; her sister Bright Star, who chose to remain with the Mohawk after their mother's death; her brother Joseph Many Feathers, a Mohawk warrior; and Thankful, a young English girl she ransomed after an Indian raid.

This story absolutely did not go where I expected it to, and I think it's much better for it. Still, I think it's worth noting that this is not a romance. I expected it to be, though that's a conclusion I jumped to on my own, as it's categorized as historical fiction. I think I would've enjoyed the book more had I not been expecting it to take a turn towards the romantic all the way through. The story that Green does tell, one of forgiveness and familial love, is truly beautiful.

I did get bogged down at the beginning of the book—I felt like the story dragged on without any real plot advancement for a while—but when I truly became engaged with the novel about 50% of the way through, I flew through the remaining chapters.

I absolutely adored the way Green chose to end the novel, giving the reader a glimpse into what the future holds for Catherine, Thankful, and Bright Star. Though I didn't realize it when I picked the book up, those three women are truly the heart of the novel. 4 stars.

Buy the book.

Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage. 

The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This mean that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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