Tuesday, November 5, 2013

For Love or Loyalty by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

The Campbells had wronged the MacGregor Clan for nearly two centuries, ever since King James had abolished the MacGregor name in 1603 and had given the MacGregor land to the Campbells.

Malcolm MacGregor had gone to the cattle market and now had the rent money the Campbells would collect in a fortnight. But when he approaches their village, smoke is in the air. Campbell had come early, demanding payment. He and his men took Malcolm's mother and sister, killed a younger brother and severely beat another.

Malcolm is beside himself with grief and anger. Only the insistence of the villagers keeps him from going after Campbell. Colin does sneak to the Campbell home. When he finds the Campbell men have taken off with the MacGregor women, he kidnaps the oldest Campbell daughter, Lauren. Malcolm decides to keep Lauren, find the Campbells, and trade her for his mother and sister. When he finds out his mother and sister have been put on a boat, sold into indentured service in the colonies, Malcolm forces Lauren to go with him on the next boat. Revenge burns in Malcolm's heart.

He has every intention of selling her into service to get the money to save his mother and sister. But there are a few turns in his plan that he could not foresee. One is the possibility of an epidemic on the ship. Another is a storm. The worst of all, when they reach the colonies, Lauren's future looks more bleak than Malcolm could ever imagine. He is frantic to find out how can rescue her, because he may just be falling in love with her.

A major theme in this novel is revenge. It is only by the grace of God that forgiveness might be found and the feud between the Campbells and the MacGregors finally end.

Besides being a well written novel, this book had lots of information and I love learning about something when I read fiction. While I knew some about the indentured process, I had no idea about the living conditions on the sailing ships. Those who could pay had rooms and decent meals, but the indentured people were placed in the hold with the rats, fed little, and allowed on deck only a short time each day. Illness ran rampant and usually half died before reaching the colonies.

I was dismayed to learn of some of the immoral practices in Charles Towne in the 1760s. It was hard to read about how (some) indentured people were treated on the plantations, and even harder to read how women were taken into and treated in the bordellos.

This is great historical fiction. Treat yourself.

View the video book trailer.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author of historical Christian fiction whose works have appeared in national publications such as Guideposts. She and her family live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. You can learn more about her and her books at http://jenniferswriting.blogspot.com/

Abingdon Press, 352 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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