Accidents of Providence

Accidents of Providence

by Stacia Brown
3.6 9

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Accidents of Providence by Stacia Brown

"Wonderfully detailed and keenly researched, it is a moving portrait of a courageous woman caught between a disastrous affair with a charismatic revolutionary and the draconian laws of the land that would put her to death because of it."—Kathleen Kent

"Dangerous Liaisons: A seventeenth-century heroine for our times . . . [A] delightfully seditious heroine...Proof that a historical novel can be educational and entertaining, and nothing like homework."—O, The Oprah Magazine

London, 1649: King Charles has been beheaded for treason, Cromwell is in power, the Levelers are demanding rights for the people, and a new law targeting unwed mothers presumes anyone who conceals the death of her illegitimate child is guilty of murder.

Glovemaker Rachel Lockyer is locked in a secret affair. But while her lover is imprisoned in the Tower, a child is found buried in the woods. Rachel is arrested. So comes an investigation, a trial, and an extraordinary cast of characters all brought to reckon for this one life. Spinning within is a remarkable love story and evidence that miracles come to even the commonest lives.

“The best kind of historical fiction--a combination of love story and murder mystery, with a sprinkling of intriguing historical snippets and wonderful writing.”—Library Journal, starred review

"[A] marvelous story written in searing prose. Don't miss it!"—Sheri Holman

"Heart-poundingly vivid [and] intellectually provocative . . . A romping good read . . . Historical fiction at its best."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547519456
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 02/14/2012
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 182,608
File size: 830 KB

About the Author

Stacia M. Brown holds graduate degrees in religion and historical theology from Emory University. She began writing Accidents of Providence from research conducted for her dissertation on martyrs in seventeenth century England.

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The Accidents of Providence 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
mkpalmer More than 1 year ago
This is a deeply human, beautifully woven, and riveting story with rich and complicated characters. No one emerges a hero; no one is completely a villain. It seems to address the complexity of what we, as flawed human beings, both do and fail to do--and how this shapes our own lives and the lives of those around us. If you love historical fiction and excellent writing, this is a must read!
sandiek More than 1 year ago
The year is 1649, the location London. Oliver Cromwell has defeated the King, Charles I, and religion now is the ruler of England. In this time and place, women are considered playthings of the Devil, and their wickedness must be controlled. One late night, Rachel Lockyer is observed by her employer burying something. The employer goes back the next morning and discovers a dead newborn. Rachel is arrested and the book follows her case. If a woman has a child out of wedlock, she can be stripped and flogged. If she names the father, he will join her in punishment. If the child is dead, the assumption is that the mother has murdered her child to avoid punishment. This is the assumption in Rachel's case, as she has steadfastly denied being pregnant, even when asked directly. Her lover was a married man, and she is not willing to have him punished. The book follows Rachel to Newgate Prison, a horrid place where prisoners must pay not to be attacked by guards and everyone is out for himself. The main investigator puts down the facts but something about the case bothers him. The trial is short and the outcome inevitable. As Rachel waits for her execution date, the story shifts to follow the man who was the father of her child, the political parties that want to use the case to further their complaints against the government by making Rachel a martyr, and Rachel's friends who try to save her. Stacia Brown has written a historical fiction novel that outlines the brutish lives of this time, and the brutish government that served to punish any perceived misconduct. All blame went to the woman, and men could ruin them with little fear of punishment. This book is recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction as it is a real opening through which the reader can experience life in this time and age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to reading this book after reading the reviews of it, but I found it to be dull and a little trite. I really couldn't finish it. An example of a much more engrossing and well-written book with fully-fleshed out characters would be "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks, which I highly recommend.
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lsmeadows More than 1 year ago
I think that historical fiction is probably my favorite genre. In relation to this book, it was not my favorite historical fiction book, but it did tell a good story. I felt that the characters were interesting and enjoyed reading about their lives. I think my favorite characters were Thomas Boatswain, the lawyer, and John Lilburne's wife, Elizabeth. Their charactes had such depth. I liked the fact that they were so complex as it helped to illustrate the class of people that they represented. It is always nice to find a well written book about everyday life in England. For me, though, historical fiction is not only about the story of the people, but about what I can learn about the time period in which the book was set. I was especially interested in learning about the Levellers, who, I admit, I had never heard of before reading this book. In addition, the author's depiction of life for women in England during this period was fascinating and enlightening. Lastly, the detail Rachel's trial and the legal workings surrounding her situation were interesting. I am giving this book 3 stars and would recommend it to friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago