The Rebellion of Jane Clarke

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On the eve of the Revolutionary War, a young woman is caught between tradition and independence, family and conscience, loyalty and love, in this spellbinding novel from the author of The Widow's War and Bound

Jane Clarke leads a simple yet rich life in the small village of Satucket on Cape Cod. The vibrant scent of the ocean breeze, the stark beauty of the dunes, the stillness of the millpond are among the daily joys she treasures. Her days are full attending to her father's ...

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The Rebellion of Jane Clarke

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Overview

On the eve of the Revolutionary War, a young woman is caught between tradition and independence, family and conscience, loyalty and love, in this spellbinding novel from the author of The Widow's War and Bound

Jane Clarke leads a simple yet rich life in the small village of Satucket on Cape Cod. The vibrant scent of the ocean breeze, the stark beauty of the dunes, the stillness of the millpond are among the daily joys she treasures. Her days are full attending to her father's needs, minding her younger siblings, working with the local midwife. But at twenty-two, Jane knows things will change. Someday, perhaps soon, she will be expected to move out of her father's home and start a household of her own.

Yet some things—including the bitter feud between her father and a fellow miller named Winslow—appear likely to remain the same. When the dispute erupts into a shocking act of violence, Jane's lifelong trust in her father is shaken. Adding to her unease is Phinnie Paine, the young man Jane's father has picked out as son-in-law as well as business partner. When Jane defies her father and refuses to accept Phinnie's marriage proposal, she is sent away to Boston to make her living as she can.

Arriving in this strange, bustling city awash with red coats and rebellious fervor, Jane plunges into new conflicts and carries with her old ones she'd hoped to leave behind. Father against daughter, Clarke against Winslow, loyalist against rebel, command against free will—the battles are complicated when her growing attachment to her frail aunt, her friendship with the bookseller Henry Knox, and the unexpected kindness of the British soldiers pit her against the townspeople who taunt them and her own beloved brother, Nate, a law clerk working for John Adams.

But when Jane witnesses British soldiers killing five colonists on a cold March evening in 1770, an event now dubbed "the Boston Massacre," she must question seeming truths and face one of the most difficult choices of her life, alone except for the two people who continue to stand by her—her grandparents Lyddie and Eben Freeman.

Grippingly rendered, filled with some of the lesser known but most influential figures of America's struggle for independence—John and Samuel Adams, Henry Knox, James Otis—The Rebellion of Jane Clarke is a compelling story of one woman's struggle to find her own place and leave her own mark on a new country as it is born.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gunning's blazing third historical (after Bound) takes readers into the heart of Revolutionary War-era Boston, where young Jane Clarke has been sent to care for her great-aunt Gill after refusing to marry the man her loyalist father has chosen for her. Not long after settling into her aunt's house near the British Custom House, Jane is thrust into the milieu of violence and intrigue that eventually leads to a declaration of independence by the American colonists. She befriends the bookseller Henry Knox and meets John Adams, who employs her brother as a clerk. As tensions mount, Jane watches the men around her grow more aggressive in their aversion to British rule, and less concerned with truth. When she is caught up in the Boston Massacre, she must come to terms with the importance of honesty over personal and political passions. There's a history textbook's worth of well-done cameos, but it's Gunning's fluid writing and attention to the larger issues of human nature that really make this move. Good historical fiction offers new perspectives on old stories. This book succeeds handily at the task. (June)
Publishers Weekly
Gunning's blazing third historical (after Bound) takes readers into the heart of Revolutionary War–era Boston, where young Jane Clarke has been sent to care for her great-aunt Gill after refusing to marry the man her loyalist father has chosen for her. Not long after settling into her aunt's house near the British Custom House, Jane is thrust into the milieu of violence and intrigue that eventually leads to a declaration of independence by the American colonists. She befriends the bookseller Henry Knox and meets John Adams, who employs her brother as a clerk. As tensions mount, Jane watches the men around her grow more aggressive in their aversion to British rule, and less concerned with truth. When she is caught up in the Boston Massacre, she must come to terms with the importance of honesty over personal and political passions. There's a history textbook's worth of well-done cameos, but it's Gunning's fluid writing and attention to the larger issues of human nature that really make this move. Good historical fiction offers new perspectives on old stories. This book succeeds handily at the task. (June)
Cape Codder
“Nobody brings the Cape’s history alive like Sally Gunning.”
The Cape Cod Times
“A wonderful writer…Gunning’s attention to historical detail and riveting storytelling make for a compelling and intelligent read. ”
The Patriot Ledger
“the descriptions are vivid; the characters have depth and a little mystery; and the history is accurate, from well-known events to daily living...[a] masterpiece of historical ficiton.”
BookPage.com
“Gunning fills her novel with believable and complex characters . . . best of all she’s created an intriguing and admirable witness to history in Jane Clarke. ”
Boston Sunday Globe
“A well told tale packed with historic details.”
Cape Cod Life
“Gunning’s exquisite use of language and imaginative scene-setting in times past will keep readers riveted . . . Anyone who loves history, storytelling, and Cape Cod will want to settle in for a long weekend of pleasurable escape.”
Booklist
“Readers will be swiftly turning the pages, eagerly cheering for the strong-willed widow.”
Boston Globe
“Heartrending ... Gunning’s vibrant portrayal of Lyddie’s journey shows that the pursuit of happiness is not for the faint of heart.”
Historical Novels Review (The Historical Novel Society); "Editor's Choice"
“Gripping, romantic, historically sound, and completely satisfying...I’ll be surprised if I read a better historical novel this year.”
Library Journal
As a young woman in Colonial Massachusetts, Jane Clarke rebels against her domineering father; she feels he is pushing her into a marriage she is unsure about. Jane is then sent from her small seaside village on Cape Cod to live in Boston with an elderly aunt. There, in 1769 and 1770, Jane gets caught up in a much larger rebellion, as conflict grows between Bostonians and the Redcoats, who are stationed in the city by the British government. Jane herself gets caught up in the violence when she witnesses British soldiers shooting into a crowd, a history-making incident that would come to be called the Boston Massacre. VERDICT This well-researched and lively novel captures the mood of those turbulent times. It will especially appeal to female readers who enjoy historical fiction and young adult readers willing to immerse themselves in a realistic novel with no vampires or other supernatural creatures.—Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI
Booklist
“Readers will be swiftly turning the pages, eagerly cheering for the strong-willed widow.”
Washington Post Book World
“Gunning had chosen a turbulent and fascinating period in American history…that suggests interesting philosophical arguments….Jane Clarke [is] a sensitive heroine, insightful enough to tussle with these difficulties.”
Historical Novels Review (The Historical Novel Society); "Editor's Choice"
“Gripping, romantic, historically sound, and completely satisfying...I’ll be surprised if I read a better historical novel this year.”
Historical Novels Review
"Gripping, romantic, historically sound, and completely satisfying...I’ll be surprised if I read a better historical novel this year."
Washington Post Book World on THE REBELLION OF JANE CLARKE
“Gunning had chosen a turbulent and fascinating period in American history…that suggests interesting philosophical arguments….Jane Clarke [is] a sensitive heroine, insightful enough to tussle with these difficulties.”
Historical Novels Review on THE REBELLION OF JANE CLARKE
“Sally Gunning is equally adept at depicting a city on the brink of rebellion, a young woman’s coming of age, and the beautiful Cape Cod landscape.”
Cape Codder on THE REBELLION OF JANE CLARKE
“Nobody brings the Cape’s history alive like Sally Gunning.”
Cape Cod Life on BOUND
“Gunning’s exquisite use of language and imaginative scene-setting in times past will keep readers riveted . . . Anyone who loves history, storytelling, and Cape Cod will want to settle in for a long weekend of pleasurable escape.”
The Cape Cod Times on THE REBELLION OF JANE CLARKE
“A wonderful writer…Gunning’s attention to historical detail and riveting storytelling make for a compelling and intelligent read. ”
BookPage.com on THE REBELLION OF JANE CLARKE
“Gunning fills her novel with believable and complex characters . . . best of all she’s created an intriguing and admirable witness to history in Jane Clarke. ”
Boston Globe
“Heartrending ... Gunning’s vibrant portrayal of Lyddie’s journey shows that the pursuit of happiness is not for the faint of heart.”
The Patriot Ledger (Quincy)
"The descriptions are vivid; the characters have depth and a little mystery; and the history is accurate, from well-known events to daily living...[a] masterpiece of historical ficition."
Anne LeClaire
“A gifted storyteller . . . has given us a deeply affecting tale of a woman caught between the irresistible currents of her inner truth and the equally powerful strictures of her times.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard
“Unlike many historical novelists, Gunning makes the long-ago feel like this very day. Elegantly, she tells bitter truths — that dignity and grace and even abiding love can flourish where it seems nothing can grow.”
The Patriot Ledger (Quincy))
"The descriptions are vivid; the characters have depth and a little mystery; and the history is accurate, from well-known events to daily living...[a] masterpiece of historical ficition."
The Patriot Ledger (Quincy
“The descriptions are vivid; the characters have depth and a little mystery; and the history is accurate, from well-known events to daily living...[a] masterpiece of historical ficition.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061782145
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 273
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Gunning lives on Cape Cod with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Stunning Historical Novel!

    Sally Gunning is a new-to-me author, but one I quickly became a fan of. She's got a talent for making her story, full of rich, historical detail, complex characters and mystery, come to life. Each of her characters spoke volumes amongst the pages and held my attention until the end of the story.

    Jane Clark. She is an absolutely fiercely independent woman. In the beginning, I wasn't sure I would like her story, but the more I read, the more I liked her. Refusing to marry the man her father had chosen for her, she is forced to move to Boston and live with her aunt. Once there, her life greatly changes when she befriends the British, and jeopardizes her brother life, who works for John Adams. All this happens right before the Boston Massacre.

    When the Boston Massacre occurs, Jane rethinks her life. She's unsure of herself and her place in society, and wants to find her place. Questions arise and twists and turns accompany Jane's thoughts on finding her true self. She is young, and confused, and through finding the answers she'll find her way.

    This is a novel that is stunningly full of rich historical stateside detail, unforgettable characters, and a time period that changed the world. While this was a superbly fast 4 star read, it was not always a "light" read. if you love history-filled stories that ring true, then I highly recommend the talented Sally Gunning's The Rebellion of Jane Clark. Like me, you're sure to become a full part of the story, and before you know it, you'll be on the last page and ready for more of her novels!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A True Classic

    The Rebellion of Jane Clarke is the story of a young girl sent to live with her elderly Aunt in Boston, for not abiding by her father's wishes. The history of the pre-Revolutionary War period leading up to the Boston Massacre is written to protray what Jane actually saw happening as oppose to what people were led to believe was happening, surprisingly not unlike today. The story is rich with period history and historical characters along with Jane discovering who and what is important in her life. An interesting and enjoyable book that holds your interest and thoughts even after the last page is read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Rebellion of Jane Clark is a super historical thriller

    In 1769 in Satucket on Cape Cod, twenty-two years old Jane Clarke rejects marriage to the loyalist Phinnie Paine chosen by her father. Outraged by his daughter's disobedience, he exiles her to take care of her elderly great-aunt Gill in Boston.

    Jane enjoys the independence of not residing under her father's tyrannical thumb and being near the British Custom House, she meets some of the leaders demanding representation in parliament. She becomes friends with Henry Knox and through her brother meets John Adams. As the men she meets become increasingly frustrated with the British efforts to restrain Bostonians, she fears violence will happen as she realizes those fomenting revolt are not interested in truths that detract from their argument of throwing the British out. Finally her premonition turns true when several protestors are killed at what the rebelling colonists call the Boston Massacre.

    The Rebellion of Jane Clark is a super historical thriller that through the heroine's eyes focuses on key participants and others caught in the dispute in the days just prior to the American Revolution. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Jane is exiled to Boston and never slows down; yet enables readers to witness how divided the Massachusetts colonists were re revolt vs. allegiance. Sally Gunning's terrific tale brings to life the prime time players, their impact on others, and life in Boston as rebellion is on the minds of every citizen; with families divided between for, against, and neutral

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    Great Early American depiction

    I really enjoyed this book. You feel like you're walking next to Jane as she witnesses the birth of American Revolution.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2011

    Worth every penny you spend!

    I am so glad I invested in this book. I read the previous two by Gunning and also liked them but this was by far my favorite.
    The main character, Jane Clarke, is a woman of her own mind and opinions. She is intelligent, compassionate and has a strong will without being overbearing.
    The historical events and persons of Boston, just before the break out of the Revolutionary War, are woven into this tale in a way that makes history come alive.
    I enjoyed every page of this book. I am left with a hunger for more by this author. Please write another Ms. Gunning!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    Good story

    I liked this book. It was well written, and provided an interesting glimpse of that time period. Was it my favorite book ever? No, but it was a good read. For those of you who have read her other book, Bound, I didn't think it was quite as good as that one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    I loved it.

    Well written and gives a personal idea of the events of the period.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    WONDERFUL SERIES

    Terrific NE Story. What a sense of pride in all this history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2012

    Need to read

    If you haven't read very much about the revolutionary war, this would be a good book to begin, because it has some human elements in it and not just dates. There are portions that have a little humor in them and some that makes you want to cry. In some areas we've come so far.
    I would read another book by this author. The problem with me reading all of the author's work, is that it all begins to sound the same. I like to try different authors, but will go back and read the authors I enjoy.
    I would recommend this for a book club discussion, there are numerous discussion points that could be addressed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    another great read from sally gunning

    this follows the widows war and bound in greatness. i totally enjoyed this book and eagerly await another from her. wonderful characters, you can just imagine john adams down the street , just wonderful

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Enjoyed it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 28, 2010

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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    Posted September 19, 2011

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    Posted October 31, 2010

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