Thursday, April 5, 2012
What I Read: Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes
All Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. But when she refuses to accompany her pregnant sister-in-law to help save her husband from prison during the War of 1812, Phoebe finds herself pressed aboard a British privateer.
Captain Rafe Docherty promises to get Phoebe’s brother-in-law out of prison in exchange for information Rafe needs to exact revenge on the man who destroyed his family. As he realizes his attraction to Phoebe, she determines to get ashore before her patient goes into labor—and before her own heart is in danger. But an enemy in their midst threatens to end their plans—and their very lives.
I read the first book in The Midwives series, Lady in the Mist, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so when Laurie Alice Eakes asked for influencers for book two, Heart’s Safe Passage, I was all over it. And I was not disappointed.
Phoebe is a woman trying desperately to give the pain of her past to God and allow Him to fill her heart. Rafe is a man trying desperately to hold onto his pain, shutting out God and all echoes of conscience. Both think they have succeeded.
When they are forced together, they learn how wrong they are. Phoebe is a loud and insistent voice of conscience that Rafe cannot silence. Rafe’s lifestyle and actions bring to the surface feelings Phoebe thought long-conquered. He says to her at one point, “Perhaps God has used me to lance your wounds so they can truly heal.” Similarly, God uses Phoebe to salve Rafe’s wounds in spite of his determination to keep them festering.
Rafe is a most compelling hero. The tragedy that struck his family, through the machinations of a wicked and greedy man, is truly appalling. The reader can easily understand—and almost applaud—his need for vengeance. Almost.
Phoebe is an admirable heroine. When she realizes she still harbors anger and fear over things in her past, she confesses it, “I want to save your soul, but now I see mine for the tarnished vessel it is.” She learns that God can use even a tarnished vessel if it is willing, and in the using of it, shines it up so it will reflect Him all the better.
Character to Watch:
Melvina: A young lady who has the run of her father’s heart, and his ship despite his efforts to corral her. She’s a good girl; though getting her way sometimes leads to serious trouble. But God uses the trouble to achieve His goals, and Melvina, though a little worse for wear comes out well in the end.
I thank Laurie Alice Eakes and Revell Publishing for my complimentary copy of Heart’s Safe Passage. The only compensation I received is the sweet satisfaction of enjoying a story well told.