Her Rebel Heart by author Sharlene MacLaren is a Christian Historical Romance set in West Virginia during the Civil War. It is an extraordinary book written by a master wordsmith. This is not a book to be missed.
Throughout the book the writing style is consistent and easy to read. The story easily grabbed my attention. From page one I was invested in this smooth flowing tale. This page turner had surprises along with twists and turns that made it difficult to stop reading. I loved every part of it.
This is the story of Cristina Stiles, mother of two. Her husband is off fighting Union soldiers while she is left at home to care for their children and farm. It is also the tale of Union officer, Jack Fuller. He is a strong Christian and soldier. Jack takes a message to Christina, and their story explodes off of the pages. Author MacLaren is a professional when it comes to breathtaking love stories.
Author MacLaren reminds readers that she is an award winning author with this book. The characters are multi-layered and realistic. Even secondary characters were lovable and detestable. Some of the horrendous things that happened during the Civil War are mentioned without going into details. Her novel is well researched and extremely well thought. It is so well written it was not difficult to travel back in time to West Virginia and feel like part of the story.
For me, conversation in a book is a major part. Dialog in Her Rebel Heart sounded authentic and flowed effortlessly. It was plentiful which added to my reading enjoyment. I could picture the characters talking. “My faith’s prob’ly smaller than that,” Cristina said quietly.
There are many life lessons to be learned in this riveting book. Trusting God, having faith, forgiving, and second chances are all common issues with today and the past. Author MacLaren does a beautiful job with each one of them. Faith is in the forefront without being hidden in her book. That is refreshing because not all Christian fiction books do that. Sometimes the inspirational message of faith and God is covered or subdued.
I enjoyed reading about and experiencing Christina’s faith journey. Many of the words brought a smile to my face as I read them. “Hearing the prayer, brief though it was, filled Cristina with a wonderful sense of peace and awe.”
I highly recommend this sweet, clean Christian romance. It is a lovely story that would be beautiful made into a movie. This would make an excellent choice for a reader’s club. There is so much to discuss. At the back of the book are discussion questions to assist groups. An author page is also included. I happily rated this book a 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own true words.