Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Like Chaff in the Wind by Anna Belfrage

About the Book:

Matthew Graham committed the mistake of his life when he cut off his brother’s nose.  In revenge, Luke Graham has Matthew abducted and transported to the Colony of Virginia, there to be sold as indentured labour – a death sentence more or less.

Matthew arrives in Virginia in May of 1661, and any hope he had of finding someone willing to listen to his tale of unlawful abduction is quickly extinguished. If anything Matthew’s insistence that he is an innocent man leads to him being singled out for the heaviest tasks.

Insufficient food, grueling days and the humid heat combine to wear Matthew down. With a sinking feeling he realises no one has ever survived the seven years of service – not on the plantation Suffolk Rose, not under the tender care of the overseer Dominic Jones.

Fortunately for Matthew, he has a remarkable wife, a God’s gift who has no intention of letting her husband suffer and die, and so Alex Graham sets off on a perilous journey to bring her husband home.

Alex is plagued by nightmares in which her Matthew is reduced to a wheezing wreck by his tormentors. She sits in the prow of the ship and prays for a miracle to carry her swiftly to his side, to let her hold him and heal him before it’s too late. God, however, has other things to do and what should have been a two month crossing becomes a yearlong adventure from one side of the Atlantic to the other.

Will she find him in time? And if she does, will she be capable of paying the price required to buy him free?

(back cover)

My Thoughts:

A Rip in the Veil  and Like Chaff in the Wind are part of The Graham Saga by Anna Belfrage.

It's not usually a good idea to begin reading a series with the second book, but as I began reading Like Chaff in the Wind  which centers on the story of Alex and Matthew , I found the author did a good job of getting the reader up to speed on most back stories which kept the story moving right along.

Alex and Matthew are a unique couple -- a couple who wouldn't  be together except for a very strange phenomenon. Alex is a 21st century woman who disappeared on a Scottish moor during a terrifying thunderstorm....and was transported back to the seventeenth century. Their relationship is an unusual one -- she is a modern day woman (with a father and young son back in the 21st century), and is married to Matthew, a seventeenth century Scotsman.  The two are torn apart as his brother commits a terrible act of revenge against Matthew and transports him to the colonies as an indentured servant. The lengths each will go to, the struggles and sacrifices, and the depth of their commitment to each other, is at the heart of this novel. 

There are many different elements in this novel that are intriguing but all the puzzle pieces don't quite fit yet, so I guess I will be reading A Rip in the Veil to see how everything connects. There is  time travel , history, romance, and a bit of fantasy (her mother is a witch and paints pictures with time portals). Apparently, Alex isn't the only one who can time travel, but I'm not giving that information away! There's a little bit of everything here for those who enjoy adventure, romance, and time travel.

3/5 stars

Title: Like Chaff in the Wind
Author: Anna Belfrage
Publisher: Troubador Publishing, Ltd.
381 pages

About the Author:

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical -  both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer - or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am - I have achieved my dream.


For more information about the virtual book tour for Like Chaff in the Wind, click here.

Note: I received a copy of the novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

I think I'll end up liking this one more than you -- I'm at the halfway point at the moment -- but I did read the first book and find it helps tremendously with an understanding of some of the things going on with this one.

Joanne said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your thoughts on this one, Melissa. I could kick myself for not reading A Rip in the Veil earlier -- I have it on my kindle and wanted to get to it before this tour. I'd like to understand more about Alex's mother and her time portals in paintings.

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »