USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble explores the mystery and the romance of the Revolutionary War.
A young lighthouse keeper must navigate the dangerous waters of revolution and one man’s obsession with her to find safe harbor with the sea captain she loves.
Hannah Thomas believes she’s escaped Galen Wright’s evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Seemingly safe in faraway Massachusetts, her world is upended when John is killed in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Hannah is allowed to continue the difficult task of tending the twin lighthouses in John’s place, though she faces daily disapproval from John’s family. She thinks her loneliness will subside when her younger sister arrives, but she finds Lydia’s obsession with Galen only escalates the dangerous tides swirling around her.
A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sea captain to Hannah’s door, and though he is a Tory, her heart is as traitorous as the dark-eyed captain. Even though she discovers Birch Meredith isn’t the enemy he seemed at first, Hannah isn’t sure their love will ever see the light of freedom.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.
Read an Excerpt
August 2, 1776
I forbid you to go, Hannah."
Hannah Thomas curled her nails into her palms, slick with perspiration. Her husband couldn't leave her here on this rocky Massachusetts coast. He just couldn't. Other wives followed the Continental Army troops. Why couldn't she?
John smiled down at her, but the strain in his eyes signaled that he was tired of her womanly vapors. He shifted his bulk and his shoulders strained the seams of his makeshift uniform, just breeches and an oversize navy coat topped by his battered cocked hat. She'd wanted to let out the seams, but he told her one good thing about war was he'd likely shed some of his corpulence. She couldn't imagine him suffering deprivation.
He put his large, calloused hand on her shoulder. "I'd not have you in harm's way, Hannah. You are needed here. Keeping the light for the sailors will be your contribution to the War of Independence. The colonials must have supplies, but the British would like nothing better than to see our ships crash on the rocky shores. Ease my mind, Wife, and accept my provision for you. Promise me."
Her words of protest died on her lips. She was used to speaking her mind to her husband, though he was twenty years her senior, but today she could tell it would do no good. Hannah bit her lip in a vain attempt to keep the tears at bay. "I promise."
"General Washington has asked for all able-bodied men to agree to serve one year in the Continental Army. I must answer the call. I should have gone last year. I know you understand this and support it."
The second Continental Congress had appointed George Washington as general over the newly formed army, and he needed men.
She nodded. "Of course. I would serve myself I could." Hannah had heard Paul Revere's cry, "The regulars are coming. The regulars are coming," with her own ears the night of April 18 last year and had seen the two lanterns shining from the bell tower of the Old North Church. She'd thrilled to have witnessed that event in the struggle for independence.
The colonists could no longer endure the endless taxation from Britain. War had come, and with it, so had many deaths. Good men, friends in Charles Town and others all across the colonies, had gone off to fight and had never returned. John had been part of the Sons of Liberty ever since she'd known him.
Much as she favored the struggle, she didn't want to lose him.
Through the open window, she could see the glow from the four lamps in the twin-towered lighthouse. She had hated this lonely outcropping of land ever since John had brought her here a year ago after they were wed — the crash of the waves never left her ears and it sounded as if a storm was brewing today. Come night, she would be hard-pressed to keep the lamps lit in the lighthouse. The thought brought her no joy.
From that first night, the lighthouse had beckoned from the carriage window. At times she hated the light and the attention it received from John. He'd wanted a son, something his first wife had failed to accomplish before she died of smallpox twelve years ago, one of nearly twenty thousand. So far Hannah had also failed to conceive a child.
With John gone, she'd be alone without the comfort of a child to hold. She didn't know how she would bear the isolation. His mother and sister lived over the crest of the hill, but they disapproved of everything about her. How would they treat her with John no longer around to defend her? She reached out and grasped his hand in a tight grip.
"Send me not with tears, Hannah," John whispered as he thumbed a tear from her cheek. "Bid me go with a smile and a kiss. As our fellow patriot Thomas Paine said in Common Sense, 'It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world.' I believe him, and I shall return, my Hannah."
She attempted a watery smile. "When will you return?"
She knew the answer before she asked it. John didn't know how long he would be away, or even where the battles would lead. Though Washington had asked for a year, her husband would not abandon his duty any more than she would. The British would not relinquish their colonies easily, and this war could go on for years.
He draped his scarlet cloak over his shoulders. "God alone knows that answer, Hannah. But know that I hold you in prayer. Be strong and vigilant. When you trim our wicks, remember the ships you save bring food to our troops. Kiss me, I must be off. Harlis waits."
Hannah could see her brother-in-law's shadowy figure waiting by the gate but was still reluctant to let John go. What if he never returned to her? She suppressed the foreboding and raised her face for a final kiss, clinging to his stalwart form as she inhaled the scent of him. His masculine aroma was always overlaid with the scent of sharp brine. She breathed it in deep until he pulled away. He was eager to go, and it stung a bit.
She gave him a playful push. "Go you, then. I shall await your return."
John took his musket from its place under the kitchen window and strode toward the door. He cast one last glance her way, then he took his leave. Hannah ran to the window and watched him mount Reliance, his bay gelding, then follow his brother down the rocky trail toward Plymouth.
Tears trailed down her cheeks, and she lifted her chin. She'd faced worse than this and survived. Hannah strained to see through the mist one last time, but he was gone. Though they did not share an overwhelming passion, but one of gentleness and comfort, Hannah missed him already.
Several long moments hence she wiped the wetness from her cheeks and forced herself to go about her duties for the coming night. The Thomas family had served the light for many years, and she could do this for him.
Hannah pulled on her cloak and tugged the hood over her head. The light mist still hung in the air, coating the view with a milky veil. She paused for a moment outside the door and listened. The only sound the wind carried back to her ears was the roar of the waves. She sighed and picked her way along the rocks and the sand to the lighthouse.
Opening the door to the nearest tower, she flinched at the stinging smoke. Her eyes smarting, she climbed the steps to the light tower. She extinguished all four wicks on the first bucket lamp and picked up her rag to clean the glass. She hated the monotony of the job. She'd had to do very little of the actual work with John here, but now the entire dreary burden would fall on her shoulders.
Rubbing the glass briskly, she let her attention drift. She hadn't thought her life would be tending a light on a lonely coastline in Massachusetts. She s till missed the hustle and bustle of Charles Town — parties and soirees with her sisters, Lydia and Abigail.
Her hand paused at her duties, and her heart gave a sudden thump in her chest. She could ask Lydia to join her! Her parents would never spare their baby, Abigail, but surely they would allow Lydia to come to her. Her younger sister would keep her from loneliness and bring a bit of the southern ways Hannah so missed. She rushed through her cleaning and hurried back to the house with a smile on her face.
Once the letter was composed, she resigned herself to making a duty call on her in-laws.
Roses bloomed at the front of the stately two-story home, and Hannah breathed in the sweet aroma. She caressed a soft bloom but didn't dare pick one. Beatrice would never stand for it. Her roses were her pride and joy.
Hannah lowered her hand. Enough dallying. Straightening her shoulders, she pushed open the heavy wooden door. She could hear the murmur of voices from the parlor, and her heart sank when she recognized the deep tones of Arthur Goodman, the minister at the Congregational church.
"Your daughter-in-law has fallen asleep in worship the past three Sundays, Mistress Thomas. The church must act on this."
"I am aware of this problem, Reverend Goodman. What my son ever saw in her, I will never understand. I suppose it was her pretty face, but I had hoped I had raised my son to know the difference between fluff and substance."
"You know, I am sure, mistress, the holy Scriptures command that an overseer must have his wife and children under control. I fear the church must act to remove your son from his duties as deacon until he is more able to control his wife."
Hannah clenched her jaw at the condemning tone of the man's voice, and her temper flared. John was always warning her how her temper needed bridling, but she longed to rush into the parlor and berate them both for gossip. She'd endured the disdain of her in-laws and the community for a year now. But the minister's harsh words tore at her heart. In her church in Charles Town, faith was real and vital, not this strict adherence to law. The entire town of Gurnet, Massachusetts, was governed by their narrow moral code. Their ancestors had fled England to seek freedom of worship. Why could they not accord that same courtesy to others?
Breathing deeply, she leaned against the wall as they went on about her shortcomings. She supposed she should have bowed to the stern faith this community held, but it quenched the life from her.
The inhabitants of the pristine parlor were still unaware of her presence as she stood in the doorway. Reverend Goodman's fleshy form looked ludicrous perched on the delicate imported sofa, his large feet firmly planted on the lustrous red tones of the Oriental rug. The teacup looked tiny in his massive hands.
Her mother-in-law, Beatrice Thomas, sat in the lady's chair opposite him by the fireplace. Her face flushed when she finally caught sight of Hannah standing by the door. She rose with a soft whisper of silk and gave Hannah a brittle smile. "My dear Hannah, there you are. We were just discussing you. Would you care for some tea?"
Hannah struggled against the hot words that threatened to spill from her tongue. For John's sake, she would be respectful. "I would not, Mother Thomas. I can see you are busy, and I have duties to attend to. I will return at a more convenient time." To her chagrin, tears spilled down her cheeks, and she turned and fled from the room. Now they would know she had heard their hurtful words.
Humiliation and anger choked her, and she stumbled along the path up the cliff toward home. She rushed into the saltbox house. She put her palms against her hot face, then dropped her hands to her sides and paced the rug. She wanted to march right back over there and give them both a piece of her mind. She'd tried her best to be a good wife to John, but it was never enough for Mother Thomas. Was it her youth or her failure to conceive? Both were beyond her control.
Hannah dearly longed for a baby — a child she could nurture and raise. She'd never mistreat or ignore her child, but the good Lord had not yet seen fit to bring life to her womb. She'd not yet given up hope yet.
Gradually her agitation eased as she thought of the verse she'd read this morning in Proverbs 15. "A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger." That had always been her trouble. It was hard to answer softly when her anger burned so brightly at injustice. At least she'd managed to bridle her tongue today.
Hannah's trembling finally ceased, and she was left with a deep sense of loneliness. The house echoed with silence. She had to get out of here, just for a little while. She hitched her eight-year-old mare Sally to the gig and set out for Gurnet.
The breeze washed the heat and humidity from her skin. Ominous black clouds gathered to the north, and the wind snatched at her mobcap and teased tendrils of black curls loose from the ribbon, so she finally took her cap off and pulled the ribbon from her hair.
Suppressing an irreverent grin, she pulled the gig to a stop outside the general store. She knew she looked like a fishwife, so she hastily dragged her fingers through her hair and plaited it. She climbed down and took her basket from the back.
Ephraim Baxter looked up from behind the counter when she stepped inside the store. He gave her a toothless smile, but Hannah could see his wife, Edna, assessing her appearance. She obviously found it wanting — her wrinkled mouth scrunched even tighter.
"Mistress Thomas." Ephraim wiped his wrinkled hands on his stained apron. "How may we help you today?"
Hannah smiled at both of them, in spite of Edna's disapproving look. Any company was better than her own. After giving Ephraim her order, she wandered along the battered wooden floor and looked at the notions. Everything from pots, birdcages, and baskets hung from the ceiling, while the floor space was crammed with barrels of pickles and displays of spices and sewing needs. The scent of cinnamon mingled with that of leather and mint.
She paused in front of the boiled hard-candy display. Why not indulge, just this once? The Thomas household usually frowned on such waste, but John wasn't here to scold her, and she felt a bit reckless and defiant after her confrontation with Beatrice.
"I shall take a bit of candy," she told Edna.
Edna's pinched expression became even more pronounced, but she didn't argue. She handed the candy to Hannah silently.
"Where be Mr. Thomas this morning, mistress?" Ephraim handed her full basket back to her.
"He and Harlis are off to join the Continental Army." Hannah took the basket and checked to see if anything had been forgotten.
Ephraim's face brightened. "Aye, they be good men. Soon the British will be running back to England with their tails tucked between their legs."
"Some call it treason." Hannah loved nothing more than a good discussion about something more interesting than tea and gardening.
"Ha!" Ephraim shook his grizzled head. " 'Twas worse than treason what King George has done. The paper said he has hired Hessians to help him win this war. He'll soon find that no mercenaries can overcome Yankee fortitude."
"Hush, Ephraim. Mrs. Thomas has errands to run." Edna looked at Hannah as if daring her to contradict her.
Hannah knew when she wasn't wanted, and she gave a reluctant nod. She'd been eager to hear what else Ephraim had to say. With a smile of thanks she hurried back out into the sunshine. The clouds had billowed higher and more ominous. She'd best get home or she would get caught in the storm.
The wind was whipping the water into whitecaps by the time she stopped outside her saltbox home. Weathered to a soft gray, the house looked the way she felt — soft and worn with cares and griefs. Some days she felt eighty instead of eighteen.
She curried the horse, then took her basket of goods and went inside. Thunder rolled out over the ocean, and flickers of lightning illuminated the sky. The storm was almost here. Perhaps she should get the lamps ready now. She sighed and hurried down the path to the rocky coastline.
Hannah entered the first tower and started up. The stairs were steep, and she was out of breath by the time she reached the top. She stood for a moment and looked out over the roiling sea. A longing as sharp as a cramp gripped her. Oh, to be able to travel the world over instead of being stuck in a remote place like Gurnet Point. Far in the distance, a ship sailed south. If she could have changed into a bird and flown off to meet it, she would have done so. Pushing away the fanciful musings, she began her tasks.
She carefully filled the pots as John had shown her, trimmed the wicks, and made sure the glass was clean and smudge-free. After descending the steep spiral steps, she walked to the other tower and repeated the preparations.
By the time night fell, wind-driven rain lashed the house, and thunder shook the windows. Hannah watched anxiously from the window to make sure the lamps were still lit, but both towers beamed with a reassuring glow. At midnight she went out through the gale and refilled the oil, cleaned the glass, and trimmed the wicks again.
The night stretched before her like the black Atlantic Ocean she could only hear, endless and vast. It would be the first of many such nights.CHAPTER 2
Lydia Huddleston leaned out the window of her coach and waved to the scarlet-clad British soldiers marching in formation beside the road.
"Mercy sakes, child, get back in here!" The older woman beside her tugged on Lydia's arm until she pulled her head back in with reluctance.
"I just love soldiers." Lydia sighed. "They look so dashing in their uniforms. Did you see the blond one blow me a kiss?"
Martha Nelson, Lydia's chaperone, gave a scandalized sniff. "Why I ever agreed to see you to Boston, I shall never know! You had best keep such sentiments to yourself once you reach Yankee soil. You shall find yourself tarred and feathered and run out of town."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Freedom's Light"
Copyright © 2018 Colleen Coble.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hannah Thomas has been married only a short time when her husband is killed in battle, leaving her alone to tend the lighthouse. She already feels out of place in this town and with her husband’s family and now she must prove herself to be capable of caring for the lighthouse. The lies of those on the ships depend on it. When a shipwreck does occur and the crew is washed ashore Hannah rushes to help. The Captain has survived and she takes him in to care for him. Soon, she realizes he is keeping secrets, ones that can be deadly. I admit I went into this story not expecting much. Why? I honestly do not know. And shame on me for that. I was most definitely proved wrong. I was immersed into the story, I wanted to know what was going to happen, to the characters and to the story itself. The details were just the right amount to bring this story together without being overwhelming. *I received this book free from Thomas Nelson and The Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts. I was not compensated in any monetary way.*
Hannah thought she was safe moving to Massachusetts and marrying an older man. But when he dies, it's frowned upon for her, a woman, to be tending a lighthouse. Let alone two. Her own husband's family even disapproves of her. But she needs to support herself to keep her independence. When Hannah's sister comes to help she thinks that her problems are solved, but more issues open up. When a handsome man washes to shore, she gets to know him but has suspicions about him. Through the eyes and hearts of these characters you can see how people can sometimes do unthinkable things. It's a time of war, when our country was working for its freedom from England. But each person here was also looking for their own freedom. Well told story of a difficult time in our country's history. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
While I've not been the biggest fan of Coble's more modern novels -- while decently written, I find many of them bland and forgettable -- I was cheering for this one because it left me thinking Hallelujah, Coble finally showing some edge to her writing! Looking over the reviews of others though, seems many did NOT like this aspect of this novel. In Freedom's Light, Coble incorporates espionage, hangings, whippings, sexual assault / rape, hostage situations and babies born out of wedlock. I've seen many reviews criticize Coble for putting this out there, crying "How dare you?!" Well, here's the thing folks. History --- real history, not the sanitized Hallmark image you must have in your mind --- plays dirty. Since the dawn of civilization, people have made questionable choices for the sake of love, survival, money, power, what have you. That includes such things as murder, rape, illegitimate children, etc. Open a real, non-fiction history book and it's all in there. It's DANGEROUS to never acknowledge the darker side of human nature. So I say yes, put them in novels. Make people look at it. And then craft characters around it who show us how to overcome such situations! Give us a sense of hope in dark times! Consider Hannah and her interactions with Birch: Hannah has strong faith which in turn provides her with strength and belief in herself and her abilities to overcome any of life's difficulties. Birch, fueled by rage and a need for revenge over the murder of his younger brother, scoffs at any mention of religion. Hannah urges him to reconsider his feelings. As time passes and Birch's love for Hannah grows, he confesses that if he could just have her, he'd let go of everything else. She could save him! Hannah calmly and wisely explains something vitally important for him to understand: it is incredibly foolhardy for a person to pin all their hopes of faith, salvation or redemption on any one person. Sure, others can help you along the path but putting all your eggs in one basket (so to speak) only leads to a false sense of security. Humans... humans are fallible by nature. Answers to questions regarding faith and life purpose can only be answered from inside one's soul. And typically those answers come about through surviving those most unpretty of life scenarios. FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own
3.5 stars- This story tells the tale of Hannah, a widowed lighthouse keeper and American spy Birch Meredith during the Revolutionary War. It also intertwines the story of Hannah’s sister Lydia and Hannah’s former suitor Galen. This is the first historical novel I have read by Colleen Coble. I love reading about real times in history and I am intrigued by the Revolutionary War. It was such a pivotal time in American history and there were clearly extremely strong convictions on both sides. I imagine it was also a confusing and fearful time, having to decide where your loyalties lay and possibly fear for your life because of it. I liked Hannah. I felt for her loneliness as the lighthouse keeper and was outraged at the treatment she received by her mother-in-law and the town elders. The author did a great job of showing how rigidness and legalism hurt the hurting instead of helping them. Even through the hardships, Hannah stuck fast to her faith and didn’t allow the bad things in her life to affect her relationship with God. Birch was also a likeable character. He was overcome with a sense of revenge for his brother’s death. He definitely had good cause for his anger and I can’t say I would have felt any differently. As for their relationship, I felt it was a bit forced. At times, it seemed as though I was told Hannah and Birch had feelings for each other instead of watching it play out. Lydia is a character I had a hard time with. She drove me absolutely crazy! She was so self absorbed and blindly obsessed with Galen that it was hard to read at times. I think that was the author’s intent though. If so, she succeeded greatly. LOL The author created an interesting story with a lot of good talking points that could be discussed further. She also did a great job of taking us back in time to colonial America. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble is a story of a man named Birch and a woman named Hannah among other characters. Watching the development of Birch’s surrender to the Lord was hopeful. Hannah’s devotion to the Lord was encouraging and determined. The life of a lighthouse keeper was fascinating and life on the sea for sailors. The war is what it is, a war. And I felt that this is definitely my absolute favorite book by Colleen of all time. Her way of writing, she tends to hold nothing back. Her twisting tales unwind in the most unusual yet freeing ways. If you are a fan of Colleen’s, don’t miss reading this book. I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
Wow, what a fantastic read. I will say at first I wasn’t so sure I would like it but then a few chapters in I realized I was completely absorbed in the story and I had stop make myself stop reading so I could go to sleep. Colleen has crafted a highly engaging story full of secrets, flawed characters and hope. Hannah was such a strong young woman. I kept forgetting she was only eighteen. Birch was a great hero but he definitely needed to learn to let things go. Lydia, Hannah’s sister irritated me-which I think was the point, but I hoped she would wake up and see the truth. A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Blogger program. All opinions are my own.
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, I was not required to give a favorable review. This was another wonderful story from Colleen, it's nice that she can write such a wonderful historical romance novel that brings to the characters to life like you can feel what they are. A young woman is running the lighthouse and has to help a man that was fighting against the freedom of the US but he does learn to keep her safe and she feel safe with him. I loved it.
I’m wondering if I read the same book that others read according to some reviews. While we all have personal opinions and beliefs that reflect that, I cannot read this with legalistic beliefs and come away with anything. It has to be read with an open mind to the real world and how turning your back on God can lead down the road to a life of depravity. Having a woman like Hannah praying for her sister and others is the glue and substance of this book and leads to God making changes in some lives who listen to the Holy Spirit pricking at their hearts. I admire the strength Hannah shows living among the strict rules of the Puritans and how she understands the grace and mercy of God and tries to reflect that in her life during the difficult times of the Revolutionary War. I admit I’ve enjoyed other books by this author more, as I had trouble connecting with some of the characters, but all in all I found it enjoyable and came away with the fact that anyone can slide down that slippery slope that Lydia followed by listening to our wants instead of what a God wants for our lives. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
I have read many suspense books by Colleen Coble and found her foray into historical fiction quite likeable. Obviously well researched into this time period of the Revolutionary War as well as the Puritan church of this time period. Set in 1776 in Massachusetts Tories abound. The characters were a varied cast. Hannah, an 18 year old widowed lighthouse keeper, is strong and independent. She has a faith background, coming from the South, that sees a more loving God and personal relationship with Christ. Now after her marriage and widowhood, she is foist into a church system that is very law focused and judgmental. Lydia, her 16 year old sister, is immature, strong-willed, and focused only on romance. She makes unwise decisions due to her immaturity which leads her into many troublesome situations. Galen, an old friend from the south, is now a Tory officer. He too is strong willed and wanton. He wants Hannah for his wife and will do anything to obtain her. Birch, a pirate, is working behind the scenes for the Patriots. He is bent on a vendetta against the Tory officer who brutally killed his 16 year old brother. With plenty of action from start to finish, this was an enjoyable historical read. I hope that Coble will write more historical fiction along with her suspense. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
Hannah Thomas thinks she has escaped Galen Wright's evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Then her husband John is killed in the Revolutionary war. Hannah continues to care for the lighthouse but Galen has found where she is at thru her sister Lydia. Will she be able to stay out of his clutches? A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sailor to her care but can she trust him? A good read.
A nice historical fiction, set during the Revolutionary War. Deals with several different issues. Also has a good romance. This not a historical period that I often read of, so it was a nice change for me. I felt this story was far better written than some of her earlier historical fiction. Thanks Fiction Guild for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review! I really enjoyed it.
** “Sometimes our lives look like the backside of that tapestry, all mixed up with no sense or pattern. But ’tis only the part we see, Birch. God sees the other side and is molding us to fit the picture he has in mind.” ** Colleen Coble steps away from her usual suspense thrillers to provide a thrilling yet romantic historical novel with “Freedom’s Light” — a foray into the worlds of lighthouses and the Revolutionary War. When Hannah Thomas’s husband is suspiciously killed during the American Revolution, she is left to care for the Gurnet Point Lighthouse in Massachusetts all by herself. An unusual occupation for a woman, Hannah takes her job as light keeper seriously, including rescuing survivors of shipwrecks off her rocky coast. Seemingly supportive of the British, Captain Birch Meredith is one of those survivors. After breaking his leg during the shipwreck, Hannah is forced to care for him until he’s recovered enough to return to the sea. As they each begin to develop feelings toward each other, Hannah must reject his love because he is a Tory — and has a deep seeded anger against God and a British major who took the life of Birch’s brother. To counteract the lonely life at a lighthouse, Hannah invites her sister Lydia, who ends up entering an unhealthy relationship with a former childhood acquaintance. Hannah and Lydia must learn to deal with the consequences of their choices … and of living in an oppressively judgmental town. “Freedom’s Light” is an incredibly accurate novel that lovers of history will deeply enjoy. And it’s filled with enough romance that those who seek a romantic tale will also enjoy this story. But Coble’s latest offering is more than just a romantic historical novel full of intrigue. It also contains many deep lessons, like overcoming anger and injustice; how to bridle one’s tongue; releasing animosity; being accountable for one’s actions; how we react to sin; and God sees to our needs, but we must also seek after His will. The power of vengeance is a major theme running throughout the novel — highlighting the impact of how we deal with vengeance and the detrimental influence it can hold over us. The other major theme (reflected in the book’s title) deals with shining our spiritual light and how it can impact not only our own lives, but others’ as well. Coble offers a great historical novel with “Freedom’s Light,” giving us a view into women’s roles in the Revolutionary War and their stories of strength and fortitude. It does contain some serious and adult themes, so I would recommend this book for older teens and adults. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
This is a different type of book from Colleen Coble, but it is equally engaging. This is a story she's had in her "virtual drawer" for eighteen years. Hannah, a young widowed lighthouse keeper, has escaped Galen Wright's evil obsession with her. Her sister Lydia comes to stay with her but they are opposites in their loyalties. In addition, Lydia is attracted to Galen. Hannah is a patriot and as such, cannot understand her attraction to a British ship's captain, Birch Meredith, who washed up after his ship wrecks. As Hannah performs her duty and learns that Birch is not the enemy he seemed to be, can their love survive. This is set during the Revolutionary War and is filled with historical characters. It was an enjoyable read for those who like historical fiction.
I have read several books by Colleen Coble, and this is by far my favorite. I liked the well-researched history that she skillfully weaves into this romance. The main character, Hannah Thomas, keeps the twin lighthouses at Gurnet Point out of loyalty to her husband who died during the War of Independence. Day after day, crisis after crisis, she stays true to her moral compass and is the means of saving several lives, both physically and spiritually. I wanted to cheer her unbending commitment to the Lord and her late husband! Her counterpart, sea captain Birch Meredith, is a man consumed by revenge for his late brother's death, even to the point of hating God. His political loyalties are not always what they seem as he spies and privateers for the struggling colonies in their fight again England. He and Hannah alternately clash and bond throughout this book until he is faced with an opportunity to take vengeance on the man he hates. But can Hannah ever love a murderer? My only disappointment in this book is the unbelievable way the two "bad guys" die accidental deaths. Coble seems to hurry the last few chapters in a way that changes the fabric of the book, if not the story. Still, it was a great read full of passion and purpose. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a positive review.
Historical romance is not my go to read but in this case because Colleen Coble wrote this story and because I am interested in the lighthouse I picked up this novel. And because I read that Mrs. Coble had this script on her desk for years because she thought it wasn't a good book. Hannah Thomas married John to escape Galen's evil clutches. Hannah feels that she will be safe tending to the lighthouse but then John dies in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War Hannah wonders if she can mange the town lighthouses on her own. But then her younger sister arrives and Hannah feels that he loneliness may subside....only her sister seems enthralled with Galen. Then one dark stormy night a shipwreck takes place near the lighthouse. Is this ship wreck a godsend? This is quite a read! So glad Mrs. Coble dusted of the manuscript and printed this story. Some mystery, a little romance and a bit of history in this novel, Freedom's Light. *This book was provided by The Fiction Guild*
Between the picture of the lighthouse on the cover, the author, and the back cover blurb about the book, I was looking forward to reading it. I have enjoyed stories set during the Revolutionary War for many years. Colleen Coble did a great job of weaving together a story of intrigue, faith, love, duty, and danger. When Hannah’s husband joins the Continental Army, she is left to keep two lighthouses operating. She certainly didn’t bargain for that when she married him to escape the certainty of being wed to an evil man she had known since childhood. Thinking she had gotten as far as possible from the other man, little did she realize that inviting her younger sister to come live with her would bring him back into her life. We never know what life holds in store for us. I admired Hannah and her strong faith in God as she sought to do His will even when pressure was applied from every direction and her heart was trying to have its own way. For me, fiction at its best is a good rousing story that teaches great truths about God and His provision for our needs. Keep in mind that those are not necessarily physical needs but at times are actions we need to take, forgiveness we need to seek, or submission to His will. Until we can commit our ways to Him, we will struggle. True freedom is only found in Him.
The Revolutionary War was more than American vs British. Loyalties were divided within families and communities. Hannah and her sister Lydia are loyal to opposite sites of the battle and yet they are living under the same roof. While deep down they love each other, conflict is present and riddles their conversation. What's more, is that Lydia is infatuated with the man Hannah refused to marry in the past, and Hannah is deeply concerned for her sister despite her animosity. The conflict that follows the characters through each page is tangible in a way that leaves you powerless to put the book down until the very end. Have you ever watched a scary movie and watched as characters did the dumbest things to walk into danger? I will not share any details because I don't want to give anything in the story away, however that is the exact sentiments I felt towards Lydia throughout the book. It's a good thing I was by myself through reading most of this, because I am well aware of the faces (and noises) I made while I read. While in some instances she was genuinely naive, in others she was willfully ignorant. She is easily one of the most infuriating characters I've ever encountered. On the flip side, I really appreciated Hannah's character. While she had her own conflicts to settle, she kept her eyes focused on God instead of her circumstances. She had principles that she stood on and remained unwavering. She refused to accept a man who didn't love God more than her. She faced her battles head on with the ultimate trust that God had her life in His control. This is not to say that she didn't battle with her flesh. Especially when it came to Birch, Hannah had to fight the desire to give in to temptation. Yet when she spoke the truth of what she knew must be, God gave her the strength she needed to trust in Him. There is so much that I could write about in this story but I would be afraid of giving too much away. It was fast-paced, captivating, and infuriating all at the same time. As a reader I felt as if I was standing in the middle of the room with the characters, and could feel the tension of their conflict. I always say that a good book "makes you feel something." That something could be happiness, sadness, anger, jealousy, anxiety, apathy, etc. Colleen did a fantastic job of creating an environment that the reader feels the story. This is certainly a story I would recommend. *I received a copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers. I was not required to give a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Freedom's Light is a Historical Romance, unlike Colleen Coble's usual Suspense novels, set during the time of the Revolutionary War. Hannah leaves home to marry John, a lighthouse keeper, only to have him die in one of the first battles of the war. She's lonely taking care of the lighthouse in his place and not receiving support from her mother- and sister-in-law. So, she asks her younger sister, Lydia, to come stay with her. Lydia has other plans, to use the trip to contact Galen, the man Hannah was supposed to marry and she's always been in-love with. This relationship causes several hardships throughout the book and both women heartache. One of Hannah's responsibilities as Lighthouse Keeper is to sound the alarm and attempt to rescue any survivors of shipwrecks. This is how she meets Birch. Their relationship, although a bit rushed, is very sweet and refreshing. This story is one of comparisons...love vs lust, sacrifice vs selfishness, true friendship vs using someone for your own gain. I enjoyed this tale from Colleen Coble and am glad she held on to her manuscript all this time! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Freedom's Light is different from the romantic suspense that most people are used to reading from Colleen Coble. This book is a historical romance that takes place during the time of the American Revolution. No mystery as to who the villain is in this novel. You know from the very start who this person is. There is a tiny bit of suspense at the end. I predicted how it would end and I was right. You will not regret reading this book if you enjoy historical romance. You will love Hannah and Birch's story. Freedom's Light will be released on September 11, 2018. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This was a great book. Of course when I read something by Colleen Coble I expect nothing less. She has a reputation of keeping me on my toes, and making it impossible to stop reading. Freedoms Light was one of those books. I usually try to spread a book over a couple days, but this book had me hooked. The characters were all so unique, and I enjoyed seeing their relationships change and grow. Thinking about how life was back then amazes me. I felt transported to another place and time and enjoyed every moment. Even when those moments ranged from sad and nerve wracking to joyful and expectant. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Netgalley. I was in no way forced to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I highly recommend this book for historical fiction and Christian readers because the author skillfully weaves a compelling story surrounding 18 year old Hannah, the lighthouse keeper of Gurnet Point, Massachusetts during the war for independence. Hannah is a sympathetic character who has great faith, fortitude and determination to do her part for the Continental army while facing constant criticism from her sister, her husband’s mother, the townsfolk and the Christian elders in her church, especially when she rescues and nurses to health a British sailor who will become both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. Hannah and Birch Meredith are fascinating characters living in an uncertain and dangerous time and their story is filled with passion and conviction that makes for a highly entertaining and unforgettable read. I read an early copy of this book provided by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
I love Ms. Coble’s books (historical or contemporary)! Freedom’s Light is a historical Christian suspense novel. This book is set during the Revolutionary War. After a turn of events at the beginning of the book, the main character, Hannah, is solely responsible for the upkeep of the lighthouse. Hannah faces a lot of hardship and difficulty, but the reader is drawn to her character of strength and forgiveness. Hannah’s sister visits and Lydia’s story is interesting as well. Hannah meets Birch when his ship wrecks at the lighthouse. There is a great deal to Birch than what meets the eye. This book‘s plot is laden with suspense and intrigue due to the times in which it was written. The secrecy, plotting, and spies during the Revolutionary War makes for an intriguing storyline. I highly recommend you read this book! The book was very entertaining. Ms. Coble does an excellent job of showing readers an example of God’s grace and how we can extend that to others as well. I enjoyed reading it!!! ***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. This is my honest opinion. Even though I received this copy free, I have purchased her books before.
I really enjoyed this story! Although it started a bit slowly for me, the pace picked up after a few chapters and I became very interested in these characters. I really liked Hannah and felt sorry for her in all that she was dealing with in this novel. She had some very difficult situations to go through. She suffered a lot in many ways. I liked Birch, yet found myself frustrated with him at times as he let his need for revenge lead him away from God and from Hannah. Hannah’s sister, Lydia, was so aggravating and brought so much trouble onto not only herself, but Hannah as well. This was a character who was definitely led astray by bad decisions and was more concerned with her own desires than what God would want her to do. It was painful to read about her naive trust in a wicked man. The actions of Lydia and Galen represent situations in the book that I would not recommend for younger readers, however, the book is clean, with no graphic descriptions of events. This story had me anxiously turning pages toward the end of the book and I loved the sweet epilogue. (4.5 stars) I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Freedom's Light is a rich historical story of the Revolutionary War and how it affected families, friends and neighbors - how some chose to side with Britain instead of fighting for freedom of the new country. Hannah Smith became keeper of the lighthouse on the rocky Massachusetts coast when her husband left to fight with the Continental Army against the loyalists, who are fighting for Britain. Her troubles are many, mostly not of her own doing but the consequences of others - in particular her wild sister and her improprieties. Her husband is falsely accused of burning New York City by an old friend Galen, who is now fighting on the side of Britain. John was hung because Galen still has feelings for Hannah and wanted to get rid of her husband. Hannah's sister Lydia has feelings for Galen and throws herself at Galen. When a ship is broken up on rocks, Hannah rescues Captain Birch Meredith from the wreckage. Part of the job of a light keeper is to care for people injured by shipwreck, so Birch stays with Hannah and Lydia while his broken leg heals. Birch and Hannah are attracted to each other but he appears to be on the side of Britain while Hannah's allegiance is with the colonists. Hannah has a strong faith while Birch is seeking revenge for his brother's death at the hands of a Major Montgomery with the British military. Birch is really a spy for General Washington but cannot let Hannah or anyone else know. This is a touching and heartbreaking story of the trials of wartime but also of how selfish people can be when they see only their own desires and wishes without a care of how their actions can affect others. Hannah and Lydia are charged of sins by local church men and while Lydia was guilty of their charges, Hannah is accused unfairly and endures harsh treatment. Hannah is only eighteen but has the faith and soul of someone older and so unselfish, someone with a servant's heart. She tries to get her faith message across to Lydia and also to Birch. I enjoyed this touching story of history, faith and romance. I received a complimentary ARC from Thomas Nelson Publishing through NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions are mine only.
I have read several of Colleen's books. I like her style of writing. She writes a suspense story with just enough of a love story, to keep it on the lighter side for me. Colleen has written other stories about a lighthouse keeper that I have enjoyed, so I was very excited to read this one. It is a little different, in that it is a historical fiction Christian romance about the Revolutionary War. The story-line was interesting and her historical parts were right on point. If this was not labeled a Christian romance, I would not have a problem. I feel it should have a warning for adult content. There are some situations that are definitely facts of life now as well as back then. But I am wondering about them being a part of a Christian romance. I think Colleen is a fantastic writer and I will continue to read her books. It was not my favorite book by her, but I did enjoy Freedom's Light. I just feel if Colleen want's to write books with this content, maybe she should branch out with her genres. I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalleys. The opinions expressed in this book are my own.