Thursday, August 1, 2013

New Review: Karen Robards’ THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN – Poignant Love Story from Early Puritan America

I am a huge fan of Robards’ historical romances and was happy to snap up this one set in 17th century America in Connecticut Colony.

It tells the story of Caroline Wetherby who in 1684 sailed to the colonies when her gambling father, who she loved, died and left her near destitute. In Connecticut Colony she hoped to find a new life with her half sister who was married to Ephraim (“Matt”) Mathieson, a Puritan colonist. Upon her arrival, she learns her sister is dead and the men in Matt’s family act very strange each time her sister’s name is mentioned. Matt himself seems cold and distant until an accident lays him up with a broken leg and the attraction that has been building between them emerges full force.

Robards brings early America to life and shows us a glimpse of the Puritan society when all things were not so rosy. Matt is rather independent as head of the Mathieson clan and the local reverend regards him with suspicion, but Caroline the religious man hates. She is viewed by the Puritans as a witch. And, though there are witches around, Caroline is not one of them. She is a courageous woman who also has a tender heart. A good cook and a healer, she wins the heart of Matt’s brothers and his two young sons—but it takes a while.

A poignant tale with an exciting ending—I recommend it!

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