Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Writer's Review of Siri Mitchell's 'The Messenger' ~~ by member blogger Dawn Crandall

I spent every spare moment of the last few days reading this book until it was finished. This was such a good book! At first I wasnt sure if I was going to like it, but the two characters quickly changed my mind and just kept drawing me in further and further. They were both so... different.

Hannah Sunderland was so quaint saying her thees instead of yous and so darn unabashedly straight-forward! I could really tell at the beginning of the book she was a little lost, caught right smack dab in the middle-ground of having no side in the Revolutionary War since she was raised as a Quaker. I could also tell when she went from just being what any Quaker maiden was supposed be... to living with her her own convictions, but all the while staying just as true to herself as she did to everyone else. 

And the hero, Jeremiah Jones... wow. He really had a ways to grow on me... which he did. Just as he slowly grew on Hannah. The love that slowly grew between them was just plain adorable. There weren't a ton of physical descriptions, or even much description at all since the book was written from first person point of view and the reader is really only able to see what a particular character would be noticing.

And not a single (real) kiss in the whole thing!?! There were lots of displays of affection" that only went as far as hugging (with one arm... so sweet!) and kisses on hair... And all this coming from a writer/reader (me, that is) who is madly obsessed with the romantic passion portrayed in all of Julie Lessmans books! But oh, did this book have passion! It was tied up in their love and in their beliefs and their duty to do what they could... no matter the cost. And it was just so subtle and reserved... so like Hannah and Jeremiah themselves. Which, as it turns out, was a very interesting twist, since Hannah and Jeremiah were polar opposite in every way possible besides this very important aspect.    

Siri Mitchell is an amazing writer. She does first person so well! But so differently than others may write it. Since I also write from first person point of view, I have a particular love-affair with it... especially when I see it so well done... the way Siri Mitchell always writes it. The Messenger was even half written from the heros perspective... which I dont see often done. And I ended up loving it... a lot.

This, put quite plainly, is one of the best books Ive read in a very long time.

My FAVORITE part of the book was one sentence in the second to last scene, on the second to last page. I'm not going to tell you what it is because I want it to perhaps hit you as it did me. Square in the chest. All I will tell you is that I think I'll probably be carrying around that one moment from this book for the rest of my life.      

Bethany House Publishers provided me with a paperback copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I give Siri Mitchells The Messenger 5 (bright and shining) stars.

Dawn Crandall writes long inspirational historical romantic suspense from first person point of view and is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. She has written two books which are on submission as part of a series, and is working on the third. Soon after finishing her first book and becoming a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in July 2011 she attended the ACFW national conference where she gained literary representation and soon-after became a 2012 ACFW Genesis Contest Semi-Finalist. She has a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University, writes full-time and lives in northeast Indiana with her ever-supportive engineer husband, Jonathan, and their two cats, Lilly and Pumpkin. Dawn co-hosts a book review blog called A Passion for Pages at apassionforpages.blogspot.com and tweets those reviews at @dawnwritesfirst. To find out more about her, visit her author webpage at dawncrandall.blogspot.com or her Facebook author page: facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst.


  1. Thanks for your reviews, Dawn. It seems you enjoy reading historical romance as much as you enjoy writing it.