Historical novels have never been at the top of my list for choices in reading material, but since I’ve read Pursuit of Happiness by Sheldon Greene, they have moved far up on the list. This intriguing story takes place during the American Revolution.
This book, sent to me free by the author, is recommended for those who want to learn more about the revolution that freed the American colonies from the rule of England. An irresisitable story of romance and suspense is woven into the actual happenings of the war that ensured this nation’s freedom from the British.
Through Greene’s descriptions and dialogue, we experience the hardships Washington and his men faced during the bleak, cold winters of the Northeast. The Continental Army’s deprivation of blankets, warm clothing, and shoes caused many of the men to fall sick. The enemy would not expect such a ragtag army to cross the icy Delaware on Christmas Eve during a fierce winter storm. Their crossing was planned to surprise the enemy and give the dying Continental Army a much needed boost.
Joshua Rutledge, the main character in the story, is a Quaker whose desire to fight for the colonists is hampered out of respect for his dying father. Quaker beliefs prohibit the taking up of arms and fighting. Then an opportunity arrives for Joshua to participate in the war effort and help those fighting for the freedom of America from England without doing any actual fighting – he is to be a spy and aid in the French shipment of arms to the Continental Army. All of this must be done in secret and with the aid of a Jewish ship owner.
His mission as a spy takes him to the fictional island of St. Catherine’s. One of the first people he becomes involved with on the island is Petra Spain. She runs a whorehouse, loves danger, and is secretly working against the British.
While on St. Catherine’s he meets the love of his life. She happens to be unhappily married to one of the island’s slave holders. Joshua and Amelia’s affair is discovered by her cruel husband just before Joshua flees the island, but Joshua has promised to come back for this woman he has unknowingly made pregnant.
When he arrives back home, Joshua learns that his father passed away while he was gone. Heartbroken, he makes his way to see Peggy, his hometown girlfriend. He breaks off their relationship. Peggy doesn’t take it very hard – she is now involved with Benedict Arnold.
I won’t tell you any more of the story. You need to buy the book and read it for yourself. You won’t be sorry. I will tell you that Joshua does go back to St. Catherine’s for Amelia, then the already intense story becomes even more so.
Below I have provided a link for those of you who would like to purchase this book from Amazon. For those of you who enjoy reading a book on your Kindle, a Kindle edition is also available.