Colleen Coble. Freedom’s Light. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018.
I’m always curious about authors’ early works and how they differ or remain surprisingly consistent with their later works. With this week’s book, I was fascinated to see the evolution of Colleen Coble’s writing throughout her career, with this novel being her first that she ever tried to publish.
In Freedom’s Light, Hannah Thomas takes her husband’s place as lighthouse keeper in their small Massachusetts town and continues in that role following his death in a Revolutionary War battle. Meanwhile, Hannah contends with the challenges of her foolhardy younger sister, Lydia, and her obsessive relationship with one of Hannah’s childhood friends. While the Revolution has taken most of the local men far away, the treacherous Atlantic waters thrust strangers ashore. Captain Birch Meredith finds himself depending on Hannah’s hospitality after a particularly horrific shipwreck. With no ship and a broken leg, he must depend on Hannah to keep his secrets, including the fact that he is a spy masquerading as a Loyalist. While Hannah and Birch find themselves falling in love, their contrasting views on God and revenge constantly drive them apart.
In Freedom’s Light, award-winning author Colleen Coble returns to her early writing roots to tell this gripping story set during the American Revolution. This novel foreshadows Ms. Coble’s ability to incorporate suspense into any story, whether modern or historical.
Overall, I found it really interesting to read one of Ms. Coble’s early stories, as it is just now being released. Hannah and Birch make for compelling lead characters, even as some of the secondary characters appear much more one-dimensional and somewhat annoying at times. Personally, I was really surprised at the sheer amount of elements in this story that I would more commonly find in a suspense novel, as I anticipated it to be more closely aligned with the historical fiction genre. Certain events in the novel would be rated at least PG-13 in a movie format and are definitely not appropriate for readers younger than high school-aged. The novel remains firmly in the Christian fiction genre, but is more appropriate to an adult readership.
Fans of Ms. Coble’s other works, particularly her historical fiction stories, will want to read Freedom’s Light. Readers who typically enjoy Christian fiction with romantic and (significant) suspense elements will also find this novel to be a worthwhile read. As a result of the genre of this book, the story has a darker tone than other historical Christian fiction.
Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of Freedom’s Light! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Looking for this book? Support the Books and Biscuits blog, while shopping at:
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2QlBLMf