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FREEDOM'S RING HEIDI CHIAVAROLI'S PAGE-TURNING DEBUT NOVEL


Freedom’s Ring
By Heidi Chiavaroli
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4954-2312-2
385 pages

ABOUT BOOK: Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes-true strength is found in surrender.

Boston, 2015
Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated—plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?

Boston, 1770
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.

Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward red coats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.

REVIEW: The story begins on Patriot’s Day 2013 where Annie David is running a race. She recalls,” The minute before the flash of white and loud pop, pop, pop, I’d been pushing the burning muscles of my legs forward in the last throttle of energy, my eyes on the blue finish line of the Boston Marathon.”

I remember that day too and the unimaginable things that happened after the bomb blast which was repeatedly shown on the news. This journey starts with the Boston Marathon bombing; then switches to twenty-three months after the event. Then the story goes back to March 1770 – Boston where readers are introduced to a young girl named Liberty. The author seamlessly guides the reader along as they soon learn about a unique ring that ties the two women together.

Liberty thinks to herself, “Perhaps today would be the day I found James…I hadn’t a choice. Starve and Freeze on the streets while I waited for my younger brother’s ship to come in, or accept the position in the officer’s house. Yes, many labeled me a traitor – many presumed I did more for the captain and the lieutenant than keep a tidy house, and yet, what did they know of being 17 years old and alone? What did they know of being cold and hungry?”

Annie struggles to put the pieces of her life back together after the bombing. She has help from Alexander Smythe. He offers her hope and employment. She looks at him and says, “You and the ring – you’re the happy ending of that nightmare; when I didn’t want to set foot out my door for fear of what could happen anytime anywhere.”

Just when my heart and imagination was caught up in one woman’s journey the author effortlessly brought me to the next women and her flight, leaving my heart hurting for Liberty and excited for Annie as her and Alexander search for a connection between Liberty and the ring.

These women must learn to face their fears to move on in their life. My heart ached as I read about the pain each woman endured. Both ladies have a chance at experiencing the healing power of love and forgiveness. Will they take that second chance?  Can Liberty find someone to trust in her dangerous world, could she overcome her fears and learn to love a new.

Annie faced the same challenges. Would she let fear paralyze her? Or would she learn to give God her fears?  This author brilliantly weaves the past and present struggles of two very different ladies.

This is a compelling story rich in history both present and the past. I found myself up late glued to this page-turner; devouring each chapter anxious to see what Annie and Alexander would uncover about the past so they’d learn more about Liberty and her fight for freedom and peace. Both women’s situations pulled at my heart-strings and I rejoiced with them in their triumphs. This is an amazing and riveting debut novel. One that would be great for book club; there is a lot to discuss. I look forward to reading more by this author. She’s one to watch.





ABOUT AUTHOR: Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston's Freedom Trail. She writes Women's Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Visit her online at heidichiavaroli.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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”

Nora St. Laurent
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