Rebekah's Journey: An Historical Novelby Ann Bell
Quaker women in the eighteenth century were known as the First Women Feminist. Their strength in spite of tremendous adversity has been an inspiration to generations to come. Due to traumatic family circumstances, Rebekah Bradford is forced to sign an indentured servant contract to leave her home in London and work for a Philadelphia Quaker family. Rebekah's journey… See more details below
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Quaker women in the eighteenth century were known as the First Women Feminist. Their strength in spite of tremendous adversity has been an inspiration to generations to come. Due to traumatic family circumstances, Rebekah Bradford is forced to sign an indentured servant contract to leave her home in London and work for a Philadelphia Quaker family. Rebekah's journey through life takes her from servanthood, to wife and mother and businesswoman during a period when Quakers were struggling to maintain their identity as the colony attempted to find its place in history that was often in stark conflict with its founder, William Penn. An Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarter finalist.
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As an avid reader of historical fiction, I look for characters who make the facts of the story come to life. This is the case with Rebekah's Journey. How could we not feel every emotion that ripped her young soul and mind as she made her journey and established a life in the new world. As for facts, the threads that wove the Quakers' story into America's tapestry are ones that have had great impact, and it is such books as these that give readers insight into sometimes long-neglected accounts of those early indentured servants, many of whom helped develop this great country.
Rebekah's Journey was a great read. It was historically accurate and informative. I loved the strength of Rebekah's character thru her trials and tribulations. I am sure I will find myself re-reading it again and again.
In Rebekah's Journey, author Ann Bell explores the 17th Century Quaker society. Beginning in England, Rebekah, a quaker, is forced into a life of indentured servitude after her father is killed. Having an invalid mother and two younger brothers, Rebekah has no choice but to work for five years as an indentured servant to pay for the care of her mother and brothers. To make matters even more dire, the family she will be working for lives in William Penn's colony - Pennsylvania. Rebekah manages to hold her head high and fulfill her time of service well, and she later becomes a wife, mother, business owner, and teacher. I found the illustration of Quaker life quite interesting in this book. Before I read this book, the extent of my Quaker knowledge included that guy on the top of Oatmeal containers, and a line from a movie where a devoutly moral character is kidded about being a "Quaker". After reading this book, I have a much greater respect for Quakers and their ideals. When I started reading, I thought I would find out they were much like the Amish, which simply is not true. Their work ethic is the same, as exemplified by Rebekah's devotion to her indentured servitude. I did not, however, find any reason to believe that they would shy away for technology and other forms of progress. I also learned that they view men and women as equals, and this is often why they call each other "Friend Mary" or "Friend Matthew". This also explains their use of "thee", "thou", and "thy". I did enjoy this book. I felt that some parts of the story were very detailed, and often led to the story dragging in parts. I kept wanting to see what happened next, however, and this kept me reading. Rebekah's character shows that hard work, kindness, and devotion to God are sometimes the best way to move on after the difficult moments in life strike. If you are interested in learning more about Quaker life, and are moved by detailed Historical novels, I recommend this book. I think you will learn a lot, as I did. Legal Necessities: I received a free copy of this book from the author
By Jane Thompson (Georgetown, Texas USA) This review is from: Rebekah's Journey: an historical novel This is a book describing a Quaker family beset by troubles. From the first it leads one to want more of the story. It is well-written and makes one want to find out what happens to the characters. I enjoyed the introduction to the characters and enjoyed the story. This is an excellent read.
Ann Bell is insightfully accurate in her portrayals of 1700s England and the New World. You feel like you are doing the living in the middle of the many deadly dangers and unexpected opportunities awaiting around the next corner. Just when things appear hopeless, a way through opens. Just when things appear to be going great, the bottom drops out. These developments are revealed in ways that all of us find familiar and believable. Her characters truly live for us and we care about them. The times they live in are analyzed with a simplicity and genuineness which is impressive to read. She gets the tensions right between the Quakers and non-Quakers (including Ben Franklin), and between the Quakers and Quakers. The people ebb-and-flow in their moral development and wisdom. Issues of romantic competitiveness, finding your way in a profession, combatting severe depressions, treatment of minorities, using political influence, and child-rearing are raised in thought-provoking ways. Ann Bell accurately depicts the Quaker society and its challenges in a manner which sheds light on the similar challenges which continue to beset Quakers of our modern times. Those Quakers sowed the seeds which bless and bewilder us today. What a great way to live history and ponder social interactions which are ever present. The Quakers of colonial England and the new world had a major influence on how the Western world developed, and Bell has effectively introduced us to it. There is much more to reveal, and it is to be hoped she will continue in telling us more about the Quaker influences and quandries, and making them come alive.