Read The Messenger by Siri Mitchell Online


A Riveting Tale of Faith and Romance by an Acclaimed NovelistHannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith..until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers beliA Riveting Tale of Faith and Romance by an Acclaimed NovelistHannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith..until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers? Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith. With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love....

Title : The Messenger
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780764207969
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Messenger Reviews

  • Carissa
    2019-05-05 11:52

    In the back of this book, Ms. Mitchell writes a note of how grateful she was to her publishers for accepting a manuscript idea for a Revolutionary War novel. Apparently they're not all that popular. in the same vein, I too am grateful to Bethany House for taking a step of faith with this particular book. I tire of Victorian literature and Regency literature and everything in between. What interests me most at present is early American literature and Ms. Mitchell has written a winner.I have no experience with Quakers, at all, which is why this story fascinates me so much. They were so eagerly equal in who they allowed to speak at their meetings, men and women being of the same importance and value. They were the first to latch onto the abolition of slavery and were highly involved in the Underground Railroad. Yet when it came down to choosing sides in a war of kings, they couldn't do it and in their blatant pacifism they were hated by both sides. This story is about Hannah Sunderland, a Quaker, whose twin brother joined the rebels, meaning George Washington, and got himself captured and thrown into prison by the British. What begins as her attempts to save her brother quickly advances to a change of heart regarding war and politics, leaving Hannah with a serious decision to make, to remain a Quaker and turn her back on what she has discovered is right, or to leave all that she has ever known in order to follow the still, small voice of God whispering words that the other Friends refuse to hear?To my delight, this book doesn't have the same brutal ending as Love's Pursuit for which I am extremely thankful. The hero, Jeremiah Jones, is likeable in his humanity and his flawed characters and his damaged soul. Hannah literally leads him back from the brink of hatred and bitterness with her honest and forthright ways. What amazed me most is how I always assumed the patriots were all upstanding, moral, decent men. No, they weren't, just like not all British soldiers were brutes. There is evil in both sides and Ms. Mitchell doesn't whitewash the goings-on and the sins committed by both sides. Is one better than the other? Possible, but neither side was perfect.Ms. Mitchell captured the period in a unique way with her heroine's fascinating point of view and her use of thee, thou, and thy since she is a Quaker. For someone wanting a read that stands apart from the same-old, same-old being published nowadays, give The Messanger a try. You won't regret it. In the same vein, I also highly recommend Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund. Another brilliant Revolutionary War novel that captures a unique look at the period.

  • Ruth
    2019-04-21 06:29

    With the city of Philadelphia under British occupation, Hannah Sunderland and her family, devout Quakers, struggle to survive in the midst of a conflict that has seen them disavowed and misused by both sides because of their pacifist beliefs. When a British officer commandeers the family home and news arrives that her twin brother, disowned by his Meeting and family for joining the Colonial army, has been imprisoned, Hannah finds the religious and familial dictates to stay uninvolved in the conflict increasingly untenable. Jeremiah Jones, an embittered ex-soldier who lost an arm in Pontiac's Rebellion fifteen years earlier, is determined to see the British pay for their callous disregard of his service and sacrifice simply by virtue of his being born a colonial. Under the occupation his tavern is a veritable hotbed of potential intelligence from free-drinking British soldiers, and when Jeremiah receives word that Washington wants to organize a prison break the ill-equipped Jeremiah finds himself thrust into the unlikely position of spymaster. Hannah's determination to visit her brother in prison in spite of her family's dictates provides the perfect cover -- but can a woman who refuses to lie, whose religious convictions Jeremiah despises, become a trusted confederate in a daring plot to thwart the British?I adore Siri Mitchell's writing, but must confess that The Messenger took a few chapters longer than normal before I found myself truly invested in the story. When first introduced to Hannah, I must admit to sharing many of Jeremiah's frustrations with her Quaker beliefs, particularly their refusal to take sides in a conflict, especially when that means turning a blind eye to horrific abuses of power. And therein lies the genius of this novel -- Mitchell is careful to point out that there were those on both sides of this conflict that were imperfect, equally capable of committing heinous acts in the name of their "cause." Through Hannah and Jeremiah's respective struggles to come to terms with their wildly divergent backgrounds and the time in which they lived Mitchell explores the role of faith in a time of war in her trademark compelling fashion. This is historical fiction of the highest order, a novel that brings to brilliant life everything from the excesses of General Howe's occupation to the squalor of the prison housing Hannah's brother. The Messenger is a novel wholly of its time period but also transcending it, stepping out of the realm of its 18th-century trappings to speak to modern readers who live in a politically-charged, 24-hour news cycle and issue a challenge -- why do we believe what we believe, and have we let positions or protests trump the bedrock tenets of the faith to which we claim to adhere?Mitchell alternates between Hannah and Jeremiah's point-of-view, using first person to immerse readers deep in their fears and struggles as they seek to fight against a system where the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against their success. As is the norm in Mitchell's historical fiction, she doesn't romanticize the past or shy away from the brutal cost of conflict. No matter what time period she chooses to explore, Mitchell's historical fiction shines because it has the ring of authenticity, richly saturated with period detail and customs, populated with characters whose heartbreak and emotions are so raw, fully realized they spring living and breathing from the page, so real you can't help but be impacted by their journey. For those who favor their historicals with a dash of romance, The Messenger delivers -- though not, perhaps in a typical fashion. Hannah and Jerimiah's relationship develops at a gloriously slow burn, forged out of the fires of unfathomable pressure, all the more memorable because when they're first introduced they are the last people you'd expect to fall in love. But even as Hannah and Jeremiah challenge each other, Mitchell forces the reader to confront prejudices, question beliefs, and to count the cost of acting in faith, particularly when what one may be called to do or say flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Fraught with tension and conflict, Mitchell sheds light in one of our country's darkest, most tumultuous hours, challenging readers to examine why we believe what we believe even as we become invested in Hannah and Jeremiah's story. The Messenger is a rich, meaty, thought-provoking, at times unsettling read, a stellar example of Mitchell at her finest, a story that you'll ponder long after you finish the final pages. Very well done indeed.

  • Regina Jennings
    2019-04-30 05:42

    I loved this book. Siri's writing style is rich and her characters have depth. The conflict between Hannah and Jeremiah's beliefs wasn't easily sorted. Instead, the reader was allowed to wrestle with weighty questions concerning God's will, honoring parents, pacifism, and honesty.Truly, I didn't know how this book would end, especially after reading Love's Pursuit - my favorite Siri Mitchell book. Okay, maybe I have two favorites now.It was an all-night, but-totally-worth-it read for me.

  • Mikayla
    2019-05-03 13:29

    I loved this book. I wish I had written my review sooner so I could remember more about the book. But I loved Hannah's struggle and how amazingly real it felt. She had real convictions of her own, and she stood on them. I also loved the romance in the book. It was so incredibly light and there were really no mushy scenes. The author really did an amazing job of describing where characters were so I really felt like I could see what they were seeing.It was awesome.

  • Jocelyn Green
    2019-04-25 13:31

    I was so impressed with this book! Loved the characters, the dialogue (right down to some of the 18th-century vocabulary), the historical events it portrayed, and the growth in both the hero and the heroine from start to finish. To me, the ending was completely satisfying. Well done, Siri Mitchell!

  • Loraine
    2019-05-15 08:45

    SUMMARY: Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith. REVIEW: This is book 5 in Mitchell's series Against All Expectations but it functions very well as a stand alone. This book is written from two points of view, Hannah and Jeremiah, with alternating chapters. I found it intriguing to see the takeover of Philadelphia by the British from two points of view particularly knowing that Hannah was a Quaker (thereby a pacifist) and Jeremiah was an ex-Loyalist soldier. Each of them were affected by previous events which determined why their loyalties now lay with the Patriots. Hannah, a staunch Quaker, who tried very hard to live her faith found herself having to question whether God's word or her faith tenets took precedence in her life even if it came at the cost of her family, friends, and even perhaps her own life. It was interesting to see how her faith evolved as she determined what priorities were important to her. Jeremiah, a man with little to no faith, found himself in conflict with Hannah's beliefs as well as his own mixed feelings regarding the war and the cost he had paid. Both were complex characters who had to determine what and where their place in life was meant to be. I found it amazing to follow the twists and turns of each of their lives. Doll was a wonderful addition as Hannah's co-conspirator. She added a great deal of wisdom to Hannah's world view. The romance between Hannah and Jeremiah was well developed and proceeded at a pace that grew as they each learned about the other's strengths. They both learned that love, hope, faith and mercy all had to be part of their faith. I loved the fact that this was a very different take on the Revolutionary War focusing on one city and the conditions for the Patriots in one particular jail setting. Siri Mitchell's historical research makes this particular episode in the Revolutionary War come alive. This book definitely made my 2016 favorite reads list. I would recommend this to readers who are interested in Revolutionary War history.FAVORITE QUOTES: "When the world has been turned upside down, and right was being treated as qwrong, an Christian Person would try to do something about it. What were those people waiting for?""Sometimes you can't do for others. They got to figure out how to do for themselves.""I realized there were good people outside the Meeting (Quaker) too. People who had faith and felt it just as deeply. It didn't seem right that they be condemned simply because they practiced their faith in the same God in a different manner.""While love without faith offers no hope, faith without love offers no mercy. We must have both faith and love or run the danger that, in the end, we have nothing at all." (Siri Mitchell in Author's Notes)

  • Holly Weiss
    2019-05-19 12:29

    1778. Philadelphia is under British occupation.A Quaker woman weeps for her brother suffering in a British jail. A Colonial spy courts British officers in his tavern.In The Messenger, a woman and a man from two walks of life team up to aid American military prisoners in a British jail.Quaker, Hannah Sunderland, feels the numbing cold, hunger and filth her twin, Robert, suffers in the Walnut Street prison. Will Hannah go against the Quaker Meeting’s warning to have nothing to do with “this ungodly conflict” to aid her brother? Tavern owner, Jeremiah Jones, is out for revenge for all the English and Tories had taken from him. Will he be able to rescue men needed for the Patriot cause from the jail?Siri Mitchell’s fascination with female revolutionary war spies began at age eight. Her novel enlightens us regarding the Revolutionary War period and different viewpoints of war. She puts a magnifying glass to Quaker beliefs and the conditions of wartime jails. Read the Author’s Note for additional insights into the historical background including the real reason Washington’s troops at Valley Forge starved the winter of 1777-78.The chapters smoothly alternate between the first person accounts of Hannah and Jeremiah Jones. Their relationship pulses with complications. Mitchell is particularly adept at describing what goes on in Jones’s head. This reader longed for more development of Hannah’s twin, Robert, who abandoned his faith to fight for freedom. Nevertheless, the plot is vivid and abiding. Other potent tidbits:• Methods of prison escape.• English jailors bribing starving Patriot prisoners to take up arms for Britain.• Spies practicing passing secret messages and goods without detection.• The plight of slaves in the north in 1778.The publishing industry evidently shies away from books set in Revolutionary times. The inclusion of spy and Quaker elements in The Messenger tipped the industry’s scales, giving us a thought-provoking and entertaining read. The book forces us to determine in what situations spying is acceptable or admirable. Faced with the dilemma, would you choose a cause in which you believe strongly or your faith?Bethany House graciously supplied the review copy.Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont

  • Casey
    2019-05-02 10:37

    Revolutionary War. Spies. Quakers. A rogue pub owner. And Siri Mitchell. Put those combinations together and you really can’t get much better than that. One of the things I value in a novel by Siri Mitchell is her extreme attention to detail. Her novels are a wonder and treasure trove, not only of the history of the era, but how much it becomes an intricate player in the book. Twining through a novel filled with 18th century espionage, is a glimpse into a world too often darkened to today’s reader. Hannah and Jeremiah are complete opposites. Hannah with her strict adherence to never tell a lie and yet…she has become a colonial spy. And Jeremiah, who must again come into contact with the moral scruples he has lost track of. Both of these characters are so strong on the page. Rising from the refuse of their present circumstance, the difference they want to make pulled me into the story. I became a part of their lives, not just in the extreme storytelling, but as a partner in their endeavors. Written in first person, as a reader, I was given an intimate glimpse into both characters lives. Their turmoil and victories. And I will say, that was one ending that came right down to the wire, I wasn’t sure just how it would be cleared up peaceably. I’d have loved a teensy bit more romance, just because I’m that kinda reader, but overall, a wonderful addition to my SM collection! This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review through CFBA.

  • Amber Stokes
    2019-04-23 11:41

    Thought-provoking. Intriguing. Riveting. Siri Mitchell has done it again!Mitchell does first-person POV brilliantly (as also exemplified in Chateau of Echoes and She Walks in Beauty). But The Messenger has a unique twist - first-person POV for both the hero and the heroine. And it works beautifully!The American Revolution shakes Hannah Sunderland to the core. A British officer takes over her childhood home. Her new life with extended family - rich, Loyalist slave-owners - challenges her simple way of life as a Quaker. And her twin brother, who had his own reasons for laying aside his pacifist upbringing to fight for the revolutionaries, is suffering in jail.Enter Jeremiah Jones - a wounded soul with a missing hand who has troubles of his own. And Hannah seems to be the only one who can help him.Hannah and Jeremiah are wonderful characters to befriend and to watch develop in their understanding and maturity, and their interactions with the complex secondary characters (and each other) provide poignant opportunities for such growth. The setting, centered around the jail, offers a harsh, authentic backdrop to the drama as both of these characters deal with issues of identity, beliefs, and love. The Messenger is a well-told story of a tumultuous time in American history, while still dealing with important, timeless topics.Mitchell's latest historical romance is deeply satisfying - not to be missed!*With thanks to Bethany House through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

  • Katie
    2019-05-08 06:34

    First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.I am rather new to Siri Mitchell's historicals, but after reading this new release I declare myself a very avid fan! The Messenger mixes the perfect blend of intrigue and history--complete with a lovely writing voice that brought the characters to life. I don't know what they is not to like in this book!The complexity of the two main characters--Jeremiah and Hannah--amazed me. Mitchell did an outstanding job as I watched them grow, change, and struggle throughout the course of the novel. It didn't take long to like Hannah's straightforward speaking and cheer for Jeremiah as he strove to help the prisoners escape. What an unlikely--but suited--pair these two made!The Messenger is told from both Jeremiah and Hannah's point-of-view, which isn't out of the ordinary...though them both being told in the first-person narrative is. I thought this might make it confusing, but Mitchell handled it extremely well, switching easily between the characters.Fans of Mitchell are going to be delighted with The Messenger. I have no doubt that it will also earn this talented writer new fans, as well! Especially for those historical fiction readers who love anything set during the Revolutionary war. For me--who loves history as much as I love suspense!--I found The Messenger completely and utterly captivating and sure to please readers!

  • Anne Osterlund
    2019-05-02 13:41

    Hannah has no intention of joining sides in the revolutionary conflict tearing apart Philadelphia. She knows her Quaker beliefs are despised equally by both the American rebels, who have stolen her brother’s loyalty, and the British soldiers, who have invaded her home.But when word comes that her brother has been imprisoned, Hannah goes to the jail. And finds him suffering inhumane conditions. Conditions no one else seems to hold any interest in. Not her parents. Or the participants in Meeting. Or her loyalist aunt and uncle.The only person who appears to care is Jeremiah Jones. A tavern owner who delivers messages for General George Washington. And wants to recruit Hannah to become a spy.I loved the historical reality, the wild jailbreak plot, and the unlikely romance in this novel. Hannah’s religious turmoil and Jeremiah’s self-loathing--due to an injury suffered during the French and Indian War—gave each narrator a unique perspective on the Revolutionary War. And the author, Siri Mitchell, did a wonderful job bringing the historical events to life.

  • Rachel Brand
    2019-05-13 07:54

    GENRE: HISTORICAL/ROMANCEPUBLISHER: BETHANY HOUSEPUBLICATION DATE: MARCH 01, 2012RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 – EXCELLENTPROS: Isn’t scared to give gritty details about this period of history; heavily researched; gentle and not overbearing romance and spiritual details; realistic protagonistsCONS: Ending is rather abrupt and left me wanting moreQuaker Hannah Sunderland has strictly followed her faith’s decision to avoid taking sides or arms in the Revolutionary War, even when it means that her family are forced from their home when it is commandeered by the army. But when news reaches her that her twin brother, who joined to Colonial cause, is in prison, she cannot ignore his needs. Her desire to help her brother brings her into contact with Colonial spy, Jeremiah Jones, a war veteran who lost his arm in the Seven Years War. They couldn’t be more dissimilar in their beliefs and lifestyles, but the common ground of needing access to the local prison – for personal and political reasons – binds them together. Hannah soon finds herself acting as a spy and attempting to stage an escape from the prison, but must keep her actions secret so that she doesn’t upset her fellow Quakers. But no one can ignore the amount of time she is spending with Jeremiah, and even Hannah cannot claim that theirs is only a business arrangement. As Hannah becomes more involved in the Colonial cause and is made aware of the dire conditions that the soldiers are living in, she cannot help but think that those of her faith have made a mistake in choosing to ignore the needs of these men. Can she reconcile her Quaker faith with her desire to help her brother and his fellow soldiers?Recently I heard that popular Amish fiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher would be writing a historical series about the Quakers of Nantucket. In light of this discovery, and the recent release a romantic novella collection from Barbour, entitled Quakers of New Garden, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Quakers would soon to be joining the quaint tales of Amish, Mennonites and Shakers (although the latter aren’t particularly quaint, in my opinion) that have become so popular in the last few years. Siri Mitchell’s novel does not join the ranks of these stories. The best way to describe The Messenger is to say that it’s a gritty historical novel; it does not shy away from the uncomfortable details of life in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War, and doesn’t attempt to gloss over any unsavoury details that wouldn’t usually appear in a Christian historical romance. There’s nothing inappropriate or particularly graphic, but if you prefer your historical novels to present the brighter side of life, then perhaps a novel about a Quaker woman breaking soldiers out of the squalor and filth of a war prison isn’t the novel for you. The history in this book felt incredibly real, and I wasn’t surprised to read in the author’s note at the end of the novel that many of the events in The Messenger were based on true stories. I’ve always preferred my historical novels to been enriched by their historical detail, rather than peppered with a few brief references to historical-sounding items or clothing, but I’m also the first to admit that it’s hard to get the right blend of story-telling and history into a novel. On the one hand, if you focus too much on the plot, you risk ending up with a story which could honestly be set in any time period if it weren’t for a few references to chamber pots and a war gone by; on the other hand, you could alienate readers by overpowering your story with unnecessary details and retelling of contemporary events that mean absolutely nothing to the non-historian. Siri does it just right, intertwining the essential historical details with Hannah’s spiritual struggles and her budding relationship with Jeremiah. The story and its historical period naturally can’t be separated, but the details never come across as a history lesson either. Prior to reading The Messenger, I read a review from a friend who mentioned that the book didn’t have quite enough romance to satisfy them. Everyone has different levels of romance that they hope for in a novel, and for me, it often depends on who the characters are and what seems appropriate for their stage in life or the period they live in. I really didn’t know what to expect from a Quaker and a crippled war veteran who runs a pub, although I can assure you that I probably couldn’t have come up with a more unlikely couple if I’d tried. Ultimately, I thought that this novel had just the right amount of romance in it. Considering how reserved and standoffish Hannah could be, and Jeremiah’s insecurities about his ability to appeal to a woman in spite of his missing arm, the gentle growth of their relationship seemed entirely appropriate. This isn’t a novel full of passion and swooning, but there were some really touching scenes that showed how the characters had grown to care for each other without the need for any physical declarations of their love for each other. The development of Hannah’s faith was similarly displayed, never overtly preaching at the reader and gently intertwining her questions about her beliefs with the plot of the novel in a way that seemed entirely relevant. I recently read an online interview with Siri in which she stated that she likes to take a specific time period or historical event that people claim they’d never want to read a about, and write a compelling novel to convince them otherwise. Honestly, I never would have imagined a novel about a Quaker spy during the Revolutionary War, but she pulls it off. I can’t wait to see what Siri comes up with next. Ultimately, my only slight disappointment with The Messenger was in the ending. The book really sped up towards the conclusion, which made the open ending seem all the more abrupt. I turned the page expecting another chapter or at least an epilogue and felt a bit frustrated that the ending really was so open. It was optimistic, and not in an unrealistic manner considering all that the protagonists had been through, but ultimately it was up to the reader to decide where Hannah and Jeremiah’s relationship would go and what was going to happen to them next. While part of me wants to commend Siri for bravely giving her readers such an open ending, another part of me was just a little bit frustrated that the conclusion was so inconclusive. Coming into the genre of Christian fiction a bit late in the day, I’ve sort of dived head first into the plethora of historical and Amish romance novels, grabbing wildly and often missing out on some of the genre’s best authors. When I finished this novel I found myself wondering how I could have been reading Christian historical fiction for two years and not yet discovered Siri Mitchell. The Messenger is an example of all that is good about this genre, and makes me proud to say that I endorse Christian novels. Believable characters, realistic spiritual journeys, heavily researched historical detail and a gentle and understated romance make The Messenger a novel I highly recommend to historical fiction fans.Review title provided by Bethany House.

  • Brandi
    2019-04-21 11:34

    4.5 starsThe Messenger is the first book I've read by Siri Mitchell, but it, Lord willing (and the snow don't stop... LOL), won't be the last.This was a beautiful book. One of the only Christian fiction stories I've read set during the Revolutionary War. It was excellent. I enjoyed the romance, the action, and, while their wasn't a salvation message, the faith as well.The history buff in me loved the rich yet not excessive details of the place and time. The romantic in my loved the chaste, sweet love between the Quaker and the spy. The adventurer in me loved the pulsing action that kept me on edge. And the Holy Spirit within me enjoyed the conviction and faith that pulled the story together.To put in less poetic terms, I really liked this book.And the cover. Oh my goodness. This one gets a whole 5 stars. It is gorgeous. I love how the model looks so much like I picture Hannah. And how realistic, and pretty, her outfit is. And the back cover, if you get a chance to see it, is very well done too.The only thing I found lacking was the romance. I think the love between Jeremiah and Hannah should have been developed a little more. Also the ending, while satisfactory, didn't quite close the story.But all-in-all, it was amazing.(*SPOILER ALERT!!!*)Hannah – I really related to her somehow. Her conflicted feelings. Her wavering faith. Her burning desire for justice. Her need to change things for the better. She was a marvelous heroine. And she risked so much for Jeremiah, her brother, and the prisoners. She was really amazing. I just wish I could have seen what happened to her and Jeremiah after they were rescued.Jeremiah – At first, I wasn't really sure what to think of him. His bitterness and rudeness in the beginning did not put us on very good terms, but once he began to open up, I started to fall in love. I love how things were so different with him and Hannah. So sweet and sincere and so ruggedly clear.John Lindley – I felt truly sorry for him. I had hoped he would change. Oh, how I hoped! But it never happened. I can tell he was once a good man, and I hope he found some way to return to that goodness. *sigh* I truly felt sorry for the selfish man. I know somewhere deep down he had a heart.Polly – She was incredibly shallow. It's funny just how similar she and John are. Both so selfish and dull. But despite her constant thoughts of self, I could help but like her just a bit. When she was being kind, she really was a good cousin.Father – Oh dear. And then there was him. I'm not sure precisely what I thought about him. He was a kind-hearted, loving man, and yet some of his beliefs were wrong. That went for all the Quakers. I understood his frustration in being unable to do what he believed was right, yet at the same time, I understand why his interference was so frustrating to others.Robert – The poor man. I know he wasn't in there for long, but I loved what I knew of him. His strength, and loyalty, his fire for justice. And the amazingly deep bond he and Hannah shared. It was perfect. That was so tragic when he died. And that Hannah was unable to truly grieve.I know there are many other characters – faithful Doll, kind Mother, sweet Betsy, brave William Addison, stupid Colonel Beckwith, cruel Captain Cunningham, disgusting General Howe, poor Fanny, cute Bartholomew, compassionate Aunt Rebekah – but I don't have time to expound on all of them. I appreciate a wide variety of characters in the books I read and this did not disappoint. They each had their specific role and carried them out to completion.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-14 07:45

    Are you tired of the books that go like this?Pretty and sweet girl meets handsome rough who is not at Christian. Guy gets sweet girl to realize her fanatical beliefs are silly. Girl still loves God, but tosses most of her beliefs. Handsome Rouge comes to Christ making everything okay.Yup, I get tired of that story too. How come we swoon over it in the books and movies and then are horrified when our daughters, sisters, and friends do it. Well, this is a happy exception to the rule while still keeping some of the elements that make that kind of a story line appealing.Hannah is not just a Quaker because her parents are, she truly believes in most of the principles that they have. She tries to obey and honor her father even when it is hard. My favorite conviction that she has, and she sticks to the whole book, was that she will not tell a lie. Even though there are many times when a ‘little white lie’ or a ‘half-truth’ would have saved her a lot of pain, Hannah refuses to do it.Some parents may not like the fact that Hannah does avoid telling her parents what she is doing. Also at one point in the book they do paint her father in a bad light, making him sound crazy for his beliefs. However, I found it very real. Sometimes, fathers are wrong just like everyone else. I didn’t find it a problem, though I thought some parents might want a heads up.For those who don’t like heavy romance books, you might want to check this book out. Yes, Jeremy and Hannah do end up liking each other. Yes, there are a few romantic moments, but it wasn’t overdone. I also believe (unless I missed it somehow) that they didn’t kiss, unless you count the one he gave her on the temple. No, it wasn’t even in a romantic scene.I loved the setting! I felt like I was living in the middle of the British occupation of Philadelphia. Siri Mitchell has a way of conveying the mood of not only her main characters, but the mood of a city. Even during the light-hearted scenes, you can feel the tension that the British occupation causes. I can’t wait to get my hands on another of her books.I highly recommend this book to anyone 15 or older. Younger than that, parents might want to read it first, because of a couple things that happened. However, I thought the author handled it very well. Grab a copy today.I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

  • Sydney Elaine
    2019-04-25 09:34

    Review on my blog: fiction set in the Revolutionary War era is about as rare as a Unicorn, where everyone hopes it exists and then ends up not being anything like what you expected or wanted it to be. Mitchell even thanked her publishers for allowing her to publish the book because despite how much people enjoy the books, they often don't sell as well as others.So when someone actually finds a decent Revolutionary War it's shouted from the rooftops and everyone wants to see what all the hullabaloo is about, even those who might not have a particular interest in the time period. And this book by Siri Mitchell is, in my opinion, one of the best Revolutionary War stories out there.The setting and the story is very interesting. A young Quaker woman becomes a spy to help the Patriot soldiers, and the two don't usually pair well together so it's interesting to see these two different sides come together. Again, think of the TURN: Washington's Spies TV series that I mentioned before. The language was accurate to the protagonist Hannah has sounds true to the Quaker faith; "thee", "thou", and so on. Her story was very well researched, which was really cool because not very many authors research their books or add an actual historical event tie-in to their stories so you could really see the detail and hard work she put into making this novel.The other thing I really liked was the historical background the reader is given after finishing the book. I probably learn more about history second hand (not from a textbook) then I do when I just sit and have to read a textbook. For example, just the other night I learned from watching a show called Mysteries at the Museum that during the Cold War these spies called "Romeo Spies" would woo women into handing over top secret information that I probably learned about before and just have no recollection of reading about it. Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is that this story is so rich in historical content that you'll probably walk away remembering the stuff in this book then if you had to sit and read it for a class.I really enjoyed this book and I hope you all do too!

  • Patricia
    2019-05-17 07:57

    Rating 1.5The only reason this is getting a two-star rating is because I finished listening to the entire book. It was work.First, let me say that there is a word in the English language that the author needs to know: THOU. THOU! THOU! THOU! Plus, verbs are conjugated with that such as shalt and wouldst, etc. Lack of the use of "thou" and of properly conjugated verbs to the missing "thou" drove me crazy through the whole book. Maybe someone somewhere does say things like, "Thee are . . . ." But I don't want to listen to him or her.Second, the Quakers came across as such prigs--perhaps purposefully--but it was overdone. I could barely stand it.Third, I did not like any of the characters in the book.Fourth, what a negative relationship the main romantic characters had. She was always berating him and he was always angry. Fifth, I felt it was unfair (not properly respectful) to the Quakers. There are always zealots in every organized religion and there are usually same fair-minded people. It was a nice choice to have the Quakers vs the setting of the war--created a nice conflict--but I felt the portrayal could have been more sympathetic and that would not have cost the story anything. P.S. I am not a Quaker.Sixth, I was disappointed at the ending. I felt that by persevering to the end, I was "owed" a better ending. Egad. Why just end it there? Okay, now you're asking why I even bothered to finish reading it. Well, the setting (Revolutionary War) interested me. I think Siri has good basic writing skills (aside from THOU and one other grammatical error that I noticed). I "needed" an audio book while I completed certain tasks, and--regrettably--I wanted to see how the story turned out. All bad reasons, as it turns out. Bah humbug.I also need to admit that I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the inspirational romance genre.

  • Margaret Metz
    2019-04-25 05:51

    When you pick up a book by Siri Mitchell, you know it isn't going to be just like anything else you've already read. She has a passion for research and building complex characters who don't always do what you or I might expect of them. They always seem real enough to take their pulse though. She has to be the only one who would cast a committed Quaker as a spy. I was as terrified for Hannah as Jeremiah (and as frustrated too). I wondered if this was how the spies of the Bible acted. Did they always tell the truth when they were sent to find out information about the Promised Land? She was brave, determined, and more than a little stubborn. I could feel the tension in the scenes where she wanted to say something, wanted to act, and yet felt powerless to do so. This was a challenge to her sense of right and wrong and a challenge to her ideas about faith and submission.Jeremiah seems defeated. He has been a member of the British army (before the rebellion) and has the wounds to prove it. He serves those same soldiers in his bar, all the while hating them and everything they stand for. He wants to feel worthy and thinks doing something for the prisoners is his one chance. That desire to make a difference for so many and redeem himself wars with his guilt for endangering Hannah. This is a story about two powerful characters that find themselves because of what they go through. They strengthen each other, bring out the best from one another, and come to know life wouldn't be the same without the other one. Because of who they are, this isn't going to be a romance with lots of lingering kisses and stolen moments building on top of one another. You still feel these two building a bridge between each other that is the foundation of a true and lasting love. I loved it and am putting it on my favorites list.

  • Shantelle
    2019-05-18 10:49

    What can I say about The Messenger? It was enthralling, captivating... heartbreaking. It was real. I suffered along with Quaker Hannah and wounded and scarred Jeremiah, and all the Patriot prisoners. I shared the paralyzing fear of a spy about to be caught; the anguish of one searching for God; the doomed, cold feeling of hopelessness; and the breathtaking feeling of relief, and HOPE.I was caught in by all three of the other books I read by Siri Mitchell (She Walks in Beauty, A Constant Heart, and Love's Pursuit), but none of them gave me the feeling that The Messenger did. Love's Pursuit gave me a feeling of utter hopelessness at the end, and made me so mad! It was a tragedy. She Walks in Beauty and A Constant Heart also trapped me in hopelessnes, though they did point to a happy ending. But The Messenger surpassed them all. It didn't just point to a happy ending; the happiness was there--you could feel the JOY filling the character's hearts!Two unlikely people, siding with the colonists in the Revolutionary War, scheming to free a whole passel of mistreated prisoners; tested and tried at every turn... until at last, the end seems to have come; but in a miraculous series of events, their braveness, their perserverence, their earnestness, pays off--and they are free.As all of Siri Mitchell's books, The Messenger was written well. It gives you a look into the Quaker's lifestyle, shows the arrogent manner of many British soldiers, and the wretchedness the Patriot soldiers were forced to endure. It is a love story, as Jeremiah and Hannah, thrown together as spies, find themselves falling for each other. But, there is no sensual scenes, which is very refreshing!All in all, a very well-written and fascinating read.

  • Olivia
    2019-05-12 07:43

    {4.5 stars}I think I found a new favorite author :) This kept me fascinated the whole time. I really like the main characters, Hannah Sutherland and Jeremiah Jones. Hannah's struggle was real and I could relate very much. Was it wrong to go against her faith to help spy against the British? One thing I really appreciated about her character is she never wanted to lie, even to save herself.Jeremiah Jones. A character you love and hate; a man with morals, without faith. He owns a tavern and is far different than men Hannah knew in the Quaker circle. But through circumstances they are thrown together.There were a couple things that lowered my rating. I wished Hannah's siblings were shown more. Toward the end it mentions Hannah's brothers and I didn't realize she had other brothers besides Robert. Also, I think I would have liked if it had shown more of a heart change in Jeremiah.This is a story that will guarantee a smile and probably some tears. It is heart-wrenching and a book I greatly enjoyed. Oh, and let me just add (although some people may not like this) there was no kissing between the lead characters (besides on the forehead). That made me very happy :)*Just a note. There is mention of someone inviting a man into a brothel and from the outside he sees scantily clad dressed woman (that is basically all it says and the man does not go in). Also, there are couple times of sexual insuation, although never detailed (a man sitting on a ladies lap, a man has a lady in his bedroom, a girl raped, and a man has a woman shoved up against a wall.). None of this is detailed and did not ruin this story for me at all (I'm very careful with it comes to those kind of things in books I've read, so it is not an understatement :)).

  • Nancy Kimball
    2019-05-17 13:56

    I can't believe that I would love a romance so much where the hero and heroine never kiss. It took a few chapters for me to adjust to alternating first person and the Quaker dialect of the heroine, but once I did, the story began unfolding. It does unfold slow, but thankfully I'd read another Siri Mitchell novel prior to this one so I knew this author was very good and there must be a reason for that.I read a lot of historical fiction. The historical detail is heavy but not overpowering which is part of what I enjoyed and second, the minor characters were well developed and I found myself engaging with them almost as much as the Jeremiah and Hannah. If I'd known how much I would enjoy this novel I would have read it sooner. I'm such a hero girl that anytime the hero isn't even on the cover I tend to be weary. But thankfully this book was recommended to me by Amazon and then the deal sealed when I saw my friend Dawn Crandall's review.I now think the slow unfolding of the characters is deliberate on the part of the author to mirror the self-discovery and transformation of the hero and heroine, and I think that because I can't identify the moment I engaged with the main characters. I just knew somewhere around the middle their pain was my pain and their fears my fears.For a historical fiction reader with a well-developed attention span, you will find yourself vastly rewarded by this novel.

  • Deborah Heal
    2019-05-19 09:38

    The Messenger by Siri MitchellThanks, Ms. Mitchell, for all the meticulous historical research you did to make The Messenger shine. Reading a story set in Revolutionary War time was a refreshing change, and I appreciated the chance to learn more about the occupation of Philadelphia. No history teacher ever explained so well why the colonists went to war over such practices as the British quartering soldiers in their homes. The author highlighted out the political complexities of that volatile time, and called attention to the horrible conditions in which prisoners were held. Her exquisite writing put me right there in jail with them, and I wanted to get out pronto. And the author’s respectful treatment of the Quakers gave me a fuller appreciation for the beliefs of the Quakers, some of which I can ascribe to, but others not.All that may give the impression this book would only be of interest to history buffs. But it's much more than that. The plot kept me hooked and I loved getting to know the characters—from Quakers and barkeepers to Colonial debutantes and occupying Redcoat officers. The protagonists were good without being syrupy, and I was truly was interested to see how they would solve their moral dilemmas. Overall, a great story, which I will recommend to others. by Deborah Heal, author of Unclaimed Legacy.

  • Kav
    2019-05-16 12:46

    Wow! Almost speechless...but not quite. First, I'm amazed at what a literary chameleon Mitchell is. She seems to take on a new voice with every novel that I read. This one resonates with old world charm -- from Hannah's quaint Quaker speech to Jeremiah's cynical view of the world. Throwing them together in one novel in the midst of one of America's most turbulent times was sheer brilliance. Amazing character development, fascinating (and dismaying) historical facts, an impossible romance and intriguing plot twists made this book incredibly hard to put down.I loved Hannah's story -- her internal battle as she discovers her God in new ways and the resulting spiritual growth made for a rewarding inspirational read. Jeremiah, on the other hand...well, let's just say that I wanted to smack him upside the head a time or two...or three. The man's as thick as a brick in an endearing, don't-you-just-love-him kind of way. He totally is not the right man for Hannah...only he is.And the ending? It could take up an evening of discussion on its own! Somebody hurry up and read The Messenger so we can chat!Mitchell has created another best-seller that historical lovers will enjoy. "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

  • Faye
    2019-04-24 08:53

    Rating 4.5A masterful Revolutionary War tale, well written with stellar main characters.Hannah Sunderland's world is changing fast, and not for the better. Her family's house is taken over by a British officer, her brother is imprisoned. Hannah is determined to do anything to help her brother, but what if it means becoming a spy?I was amazed at how much I liked this novel. The depth made it riveting and I really appreciated the historical details. The characters were well written and I enjoyed the way they interacted with each other. Both of the characters were written in first-person so it really helped me understand the characters to be able to "see" their thoughts. I think Ms. Mitchell did a really good job with the details, that really made this book pop. And I liked how this book realistically portrayed what was going on with the soldiers taking over their house and how the Quakers tried to stay neutral.Overall, this was a skillfully written read with well built characters, and a vivid setting. There were times that I felt that there wasn't a whole lot going on, but those parts had some great dialogue going on. So I would recommend this book for someone who is looking for a heavier read, and enjoys historic details :)I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

  • Diana
    2019-05-14 13:39

    The Messenger is the second book I have read from Siri Mitchell and I am now a certified fan! She is an eloquent writer and she has the gift to bring life to words.This story is a heart felt story of faith, devotion, and love. Hannah is the daughter of a devote Quaker family. When her brother joins the patriot cause during the Revolutionary war, he is thrown in prison. Because of their beliefs, the family refuses to visit him. Hannah is disturbed by this, and tries to find a way to see him. Jeremiah Jones is her way. But, his help doesn't come without costs. He needs her to help pass secret messages to a prisoner. To do this is against all she has ever believed. They both have to face their pasts and fears and work together to accomplish a common goal. Mitchell has created strong characters and a flawless storyline. Her descriptions and attention to detail make this story one of the best I have ever read. It was a "stay up all night and finish" kind of book! It is obvious that she put alot of research into the book which made it that much more believable. I am tempted to give 5 stars, but I did feel a little disapointed with the end. But, that feeling stems from my inability to let go of books and charachters I really enjoy!

  • Rachelle Cobb
    2019-05-19 10:32

    What I LovedI remember reading the back cover copy of this novel many times long before I picked it up. Once I finished reading it, I sat back in awe of the author's talent and grace in delivering such a compelling story. I raided my library for every Siri Mitchell book on the shelves and had myself a Siri Mitchell weekend! She is definitely one of my favorite authors now.This story starts with a bang and doesn't let up until the very last page. I can hardly find the words to describe how the detail and the details left out grabbed my heart and tugged until I was right there with Hannah and Jeremiah, experiencing the web of secrets that tightened around them until there was literally no going back. The gentle love story -- so sweet. The drama of the times (the Revolution is my favorite time period) -- fascinating. The ending -- perfection.Why I Recommend This BookIf you love historical fiction, history, the Revolution, romances, or books with a strong, gripping inspirational message, you simply must discover the treasure trove of novels that Siri Mitchell has written. They'll rip your heart out and put it back together. God's grace is a major theme and song that sings from each page. I can't rave about them enough. Now go out and find one to read. =)

  • Melanie
    2019-05-18 05:49

    Review on Amazon: on my blog (to be posted 1/6): Messenger is the first of Siri Mitchell's books I've read, but I definitely plan on reading more! Having not known much about the Quaker faith, it was interesting to read a book where one of the main characters was a Friend... definitely learned some things about their faith.The story was fascinating and I found it hard to put down towards the end. I loved the two main characters and all of the "spy" aspects to The Messenger.The ending to The Messenger seemed somewhat abrupt (seriously, I could NOT believe it was the end) and that was one thing I didn't like about the book - I wish there would have been at least an epilogue! Still, I loved The Messenger and give it five stars. If you enjoy historical novels, this is a great one that even has some suspense! =)*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

  • Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)
    2019-05-17 11:47

    I read this book a while ago, but I wanted to review it. I was unsure about it when I went into it. I like historicals, but I am not a fan of romance. I don’t care for books that are basically romance novels in a historical setting. I had run into too many of them, so I was wary when I picked this one up.I really needn’t have been. This book was great! Of course there was romance in it, but it was a side plot. And this couple had the ability not to think of each other every waking minute. They had more important things and other pressing needs on their mind. Yay! Now of course they do think about each other, especially when they are around each other, but not to the point of being annoying about it. Plus the romance had more to do with the actual person than physical characteristics.I loved reading this book! One of my favorite and most memorable scenes is when Jeremiah comes to the Quaker meeting. This book had a strong message about believing in God during difficult times.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-27 10:37

    I enjoy reading about the revolution time period and especially enjoyed this book since I had studied the Quaker religion for a history class. Hannah is interesting to follow as she discovers her own convictions and reconciles them with her chosen religion. Jeremiah is someone who wins you over as I am sure the author intended as he goes from a callous sort of man to a gentler one. Hannah brings out the good in him and he does the same for her. While I was surprised by what I felt was an abrupt ending I also can imagine how things worked out and thought it fun the author left it up to the readers to decide. The optimist in me says Hannah reconciled with her family. You will have to decide for yourself though. I also appreciated the history trip the author takes you on at the end. This is not a feel good, fairytale type romance. It is like watching a good war movie. Sometimes it is pretty graphic and gross, but praise to the author for not sugarcoating things. If you enjoy war, intrigue, a bit of romance, and spy theme's you will most likely enjoy this book.

  • Amanda Casper
    2019-05-06 05:54

    A spy novel! Yes!! Just what I needed in my life... haha. This book was great. I really loved learning more about the ins and outs of the Revolutionary War (at least when it came to spies). The main female character in this book is a Quaker which I found to be quit an interesting group of people. I just read "She Walks in Beauty" so I guess I expected something different. But a good kind of different. I definitely would not say this is a romance novel. I mean there are a few things here and there, but totally not sitting high on the romance meter :) There is mention of Balls and gowns, but no real detail. This book was strictly business *spy business ;)* If you want to read a book filled to its brim with love games and playing dress up this is not for you. If your looking for a book that has spy games and thrill, then prepare to be thrust into the revolutionary war and give "The Messenger" a try.

  • Tima
    2019-05-19 07:44

    Hannah is a Quaker. But when her twin brother joins the Colonial cause she is torn between her love for her brother and her belief in not taking up arms. When her brother ends up in prison she goes against everything her faith and family has taught her to visit him.I enjoy books that take real historical events and weave a story around them. This is a thick book. But I was able to read it quickly, because the story flowed so smoothly. The author created a fascinating story that was not only enjoyable, but also informative. It had a intrigue, romance and inspiration. I'll definitely be checking out the author's other books.I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.