Freedom's Ring

Freedom's Ring

by Heidi Chiavaroli

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496423122
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 368,278
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Freedom's Ring

A Novel


By Heidi Chiavaroli, Caleb Sjogren

Tyndale House Publishers

Copyright © 2017 Heidi Chiavaroli
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4964-2312-2


CHAPTER 1

Anaya


TWENTY-THREE MONTHS LATER

I stared at the potted lily in my hand, its pure white petals fresh against the backdrop of my sister's stained wood door.

Maybe flowers were overkill. I wasn't looking for a date, after all. I was looking for ...

What was I looking for? Why was I here?

The unexpected phone call with my mother the night before replayed in my head, along with the news she had shared.

"I talked to Lydia today. It looks like Roger's going to take a job in the UK."

The statement ripped through me. I hadn't seen Lydia or her family in over a year and a half, but this news broke on me with the sudden realization that I might never see them again.

So here I was, after nearly seven hundred days of silence. Trying to reconcile the fact that each day I could have picked up the phone, tried to mend the fragments of our relationship, but I hadn't.

I closed my eyes, concentrated on the familiar weight of the object attached to the chain at my neck. The ring, Red Sox Sweatshirt, my sister, and my crippled niece — they'd all jumbled together the last two years to create a fierce, writhing fairy-tale nightmare that wouldn't release me from its vicious hold.

I freed a quaking breath, clutched at the cool plastic of the flowerpot in my hand. Qui fortis salutem tribuet.

It was the Latin inscription on the ring belonging to the man who'd never bothered to find me after the day of the bombing.

I breathed around the preposterous feeling of abandonment, focused instead on the meaning of the words, tried to draw strength from them, from the ring itself. Victory belongs to the one who is strong.

Boston Strong.

I shook my head against the slogan that had rallied Boston to its feet just days after the crisis that rocked the city. I shouldn't think of it now. It only taunted me. Whether on T-shirts, hats, sports memorabilia, bumper stickers, billboards, or even the destination signs on buses, the two words tormented me, calling me to be something I wasn't.

Strong.

Why I thought I could suddenly draw hope from these etched words just because I stood at my sister's threshold, I hadn't a clue.

I turned around instead of knocking again, convinced I needed something more to face what was behind this door. But the hinges creaked behind me. I turned, and there she stood.

She'd gotten more beautiful the last two years, young womanhood making her blossom and mature. And I'd missed it all.

"Grace ..." I could scarcely push her name past my lips, for the sudden emotion in my throat. She stood at eye level with me. I'd expected a wheelchair, a crutch, something. But a quick — what I hoped to be discreet — scan of her lower half revealed two legs clad in skinny jeans. She looked like a healthy, normal teenage girl, thanks to prosthetics.

I would not cry.

"Auntie Annie. Wow, you're here."

"I — um, maybe I should have called first, but —"

"No. No, this is great." She opened the door wider, threw her long, honey-colored ponytail over her shoulder. "I was just thinking about going for a run, but that can wait. Mom's out catching up on some errands, Dad's fiddling in the garage, Joel went to a friend's, so, like, it's just me." She closed the door behind us. "I hope that's ... okay."

She was about to go for a run. A run. I thought she'd never walk — never mind run — again. I knew in my head people who lost limbs could still do many things others could do, but in my mind Grace was as I'd last seen her. Crippled, in a wheelchair. Bruised both inside and out.

I inhaled the scent of pine furniture polish, the house as tidy as my sister's room when we were kids. On counters and hutches were dried flowers of every type — hydrangeas, carnations, larkspur, peonies.

"Let me take that." Grace held out her arms for the lily and I released it, noticing the slightest of limps when she walked to the kitchen counter to set the pot down.

I found my voice. "You look great."

She smiled at me, revealing white, straight teeth. No braces anymore. "Thanks, so do you."

I knew she was being nice. While I'd been severely battered by the bombing, I'd also been fit and trim. Not so much anymore. I hadn't pulled on a pair of running sneakers since the morning of the marathon. I likely never would again. I could live with these fifteen extra pounds for the rest of my life if I had to. Kind of even liked them — a buffer zone of sorts.

"Do you want some coffee?"

I raised my eyebrows, shook my head, and sighed. "I can't get over how grown-up you are. Sorry, yes. I'd love some coffee."

She opened one of the perfectly distressed white cabinet doors and pulled down two mugs. I sat on a barstool and drew a greeting card from my purse. I slid the card along the counter.

"Happy belated. Sorry it's late."

It was an improvement from last year, anyway, when I sent nothing.

Her green eyes brightened. "Hey, thanks." She ripped open the card, moving aside the fifty-dollar bill as she read the greeting. Nothing fancy or personal. I didn't want her to think I was trying to flatter my way back into her life.

"Thanks, Auntie." She placed the card on the counter and came around the island to envelop me in a brief, awkward hug. I was relieved when she went back to the kitchen.

"How many sugars?" Grace opened one of the Pfaltzgraff containers and spooned a teaspoonful of sugar into one mug.

"Two please." I put a hand on my stomach. "Though I'm trying to work down to one and a half. It stays on so much easier these days."

Grace smiled and in it I saw she didn't harbor anything against me. I loved her all the more.

"So seventeen, huh? Driving yet?"

"Got my license a few months ago. We've been looking for a car. Mom's freaking."

I laughed. "I'll bet." I scurried for more meaningless small talk. "How's school? Any boyfriends?"

She shook her head. "No on the boyfriends. Good on school. Except for pre-calc. Struggling with that."

"I could help you sometime if you want. With calculus, I mean." I could have knocked my head against my sister's quartz countertop. Who did I think I was, waltzing into my niece's life after nearly destroying it, offering to help her with math?

But nothing seemed to faze Grace. She kept smiling at me, like she was actually glad I came, glad I sat in her kitchen. "I'd like that."

The coffee dribbled into the mug, releasing a French-roast scent into the kitchen.

"So how about you?" Grace switched out the mugs in the Keurig, grabbed cream from the fridge. "Like, what have you been up to? Any boyfriends?" She gave me a sly smile as she placed a cream-colored mug in front of me. I recognized it as one I gave Lydia on her thirtieth birthday. It said Sisters on it in large cursive writing. Around the word in a circular pattern was a collection of words about sisters. I didn't want to turn the cup and study it with Grace beside me, but I did glimpse one sentence. As friends we have pulled together.

I was surprised Lydia hadn't tossed the cup sometime over the last two years.

"Auntie?"

I shook my head. "Sorry. No — no boyfriends." Not serious ones, that is. "I relocated, actually. For work. Still with the bank. I'm renting an apartment above a garage in Lexington now. Not too far from here — on Belfry Terrace."

"No way."

"Yeah, I like it. Peaceful, you know?"

"Try going to high school. There's nothing peaceful about it."

"Thought you said school was good?" I let the heat of the mug seep through to my skin, then sipped the coffee. It slid down my throat, warm and comforting. This felt ... normal. I hadn't expected such an easy transition.

Grace waved a hand through the air. "Oh, it's fine. Just the usual, I guess. Immature boys; gossiping, shallow girls. I don't fit in, you know?"

If someone had told me the day before that Grace would confide in me that she didn't fit in anywhere, I would have instantly blamed it on the terror attack, on her leg. But sitting here with her now, I knew that's not what she meant.

"The bombing made you grow up faster than them." I stated the sentence with confidence. It wasn't a question; I saw the evidence before my eyes, in the way Grace handled herself, in the way she received me with such poise and mercy after all these months of silence.

She shrugged, blinked fast. "I guess so."

I reached for her hand, the awkwardness from our previous physical contact now gone. I may have come for myself, but in this moment I could only think of comforting the young woman before me. "I'm so sorry I haven't called, Grace. I got your letter. It was just — I have no excuses. I'm so sorry."

"I'm not, like, holding any hard feelings — but maybe sometime we could talk about what happened. I mean, you were there through my surgeries, skin grafts, therapy sessions. Then not long after I moved to rehab, you just stopped coming."

Like I said, I had no excuses. Still, I opened my mouth to explain myself, but not before Grace squeezed my hand.

"Not today, Auntie, okay? Today let's just be happy together."

Tension eased from my body. Tears pricked my eyelids at the simple act of grace. "Thank you." I wiped my trembling lips with a napkin. I couldn't hold it together much longer in front of her. "Is it okay if I use your bathroom real quick?"

"Of course. I'll see if I can scrounge us up some comfort food."

I laughed around my tight emotions and started down the hall. Once in the bathroom, I opened the window and allowed the cool air to calm my nerves, as frayed as an overused toothbrush. I wiped the corners of my eyes with a tissue.

Let's just be happy together.

How simple and sweet. I could do this. I could be happy again, couldn't I?

If only Lydia would be content with the same.

I opened the bathroom door and a whoosh of air from the still-open window swept across the threshold and into the living room, across the hall. The pages of a book on top of an end table fluttered and a small card flapped to the ground, swirling like a feather near my feet.

I turned to close the window before picking up the business card. When I did, my stomach clenched.

It wasn't the name on the card. Or even the business, a construction company of some sort. It was the emblem on the card that made my skin grow hot, then cold with goose bumps. My lungs constricted around my thrashing heart.

I didn't need to fish the ring from beneath my sweater to know the same crest adorned the signet ring I'd been given almost two years earlier. The anchor, the horn symbol, even the Latin I'd memorized at the top.

I glanced at the name. Bradford Kilroy.

"Auntie?"

"Be right there," I called.

I lifted the cover of the Bible the card had fallen from and moved it toward the feather-light pages of the book of Psalms. Just before the sharp edges touched the binding, I drew it back. If I released the card to the clutches of the solid book, I might never see it again. It belonged to me. I knew it. And yet how could that be? Lydia knew I had looked for the man who'd helped me that day. Surely she would have said something in the weeks after the bombing.

I stared at the emblem, an exact replica of the engraving on the ring. Somehow this card was connected to Red Sox Sweatshirt; I was sure of it. Somehow my sister had played a part in keeping it from me.

I tucked the card in the back pocket of my jeans and stood in Lydia's dust-free living room, reluctant to go back into the kitchen so shaken up. I tugged on the chain at my neck, freeing the ring from beneath my sweater. I clutched it in my fist and wound the chain around my pinkie finger.

I'd read somewhere that ancient Egyptians would adorn themselves in jewelry — particularly gold — believing it imbued them with special powers. Like the Egyptians, I'd often looked for spiritual influence in the ring — a magical amulet of sorts left by my mysterious savior. And while a part of me felt silly for putting so much stock in an inanimate object, another part panicked at the thought of not having anything solid I could turn to. At least the ring offered me a tangible connection to the supernatural — something to believe in.

I opened my eyes and slipped the ring back beneath my sweater. I started toward the kitchen, vowing not to let the card's discovery tarnish my time with Grace. She stood at the counter, shaking popcorn out of a bag and into two bowls.

I sat at the bar, suddenly desperate for conversation. "So the UK, huh?"

Her face registered nothing, the bag of popcorn frozen in her hands.

I fumbled for words. "I talked to your grandmother. ... She mentioned your dad taking a job. ..."

Grace shook her head and placed the popcorn on the counter. "I — I hadn't heard. I thought —"

I reached for her hand again, a heaviness in my chest traveling downward. "I'm so sorry. You know your gram. She gets ahead of herself sometimes. She probably —"

The kitchen door opened. On the threshold stood Lydia, a brown Stop & Shop bag in her hand, her expression one of stone.

Her gaze took in my presence, saw my hand connected with Grace's. The bag dipped in her arms. She recovered quickly and placed it on the counter.

"Well, isn't this cozy." She shut the door, tossed her keys in the small basket on the counter.

I snatched my hand from Grace's and stood. "Hi, Lydia."

"Nice of you to drop by." She didn't sound like she thought it was nice. She sounded as if she'd rather have a visit from an angry skunk.

"I — um, I should have called."

Grace stood beside me. "No, Auntie. It's good you came. Right, Mom?"

If smoke could have poured from my sister's ears, the fire alarms would have been going off at the neighbor's house.

"No, Grace. Your aunt is right. It would have been better if she'd called."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli, Caleb Sjogren. Copyright © 2017 Heidi Chiavaroli. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
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.

What People are Saying About This

Julie Lessman

A powerful journey into past and present. This masterful love story of God and country both haunts and heals long after the last page.

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Freedom's Ring 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
A1Reads More than 1 year ago
This book deserves 10 Stars! 5 for each story! Freedom's Ring has a bit of something for everyone. Contemporary, Historical, romance, mystery and redemption. Very real, very believable characters. The Boston Marathon bombing is treated with respect and not exploitative in any way. It is a fictional tale of a fictional person living with the aftermath of that horrific event. I highly recommend this book to everyone! The contemporary story is a woman, a runner in the Boston Marathon, Anaya or Annie as she is known throughout the book, that lets the “if only's” overtake her personal life and estrange her from her sister and niece. It has a bit of mystery surrounding the ring, and the search for its history. The historical story has the beginnings of the Revolutionary War, an orphaned teenager, Liberty, doing what she must, without resorting to being a “camp girl” to survive. In the middle of each of these stories, there is much to tell, I don't give spoilers so you, my fellow readers, must take this journey for yourself. It is one well worth taking. I will give you a couple of teasers. There are appearances of well known real-life people. There is a time capsule found in the modern day and a letter and a deathbed promise on the historical side. Each of these are an integral part of the story and help bind them together. I will also share the last line of the Epilogue, spoken by Annie but in my opinion, could have been said by either heroine. “My past had been wiped clean by grace. And because of that, I could finally claim strength.” The ring is inscribed with “Qui fortis salitem tribute” which translates to “Victory belongs to the one who is strong.” Important words to remember as you read through this wonderful book.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
"Well, maybe being broken can bring us together, you know? Like it has a higher purpose. Maybe it's how we help one another, look for meaning in this botched-up life." What an amazing debut novel by Heidi Chiavaroli. In this dual timeline novel, Liberty from 1770 Boston and Anaya from 2013 Boston share a link - a signet ring. But, more than that, they both share regrets from their past mistakes and are deeply trapped by their own fear. Amidst the turmoil of a nation struggling for freedom, Liberty struggles to find herself even as circumstances throw her into the abyss of the unknown. Struggling from the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, Anaya suffocates in her own guilt and timidity. Connected by a ring with its own mysterious past, Liberty and Anaya must find freedom and forgiveness in God's grace and mercy. The writing is hauntingly beautiful, deeply emotional, and moving. First person narrative from Liberty and Anaya's perspective is authentic, fresh, clear, and honest. It draws the reader straight into the heart of Boston during these time periods. The supporting characters of Alexander, Hugh, and Brad are amazing and the romance that blooms in both time periods is sweet and tender. There is a nice undertone of suspense as Anaya and Brad track down the story behind the ring and there is a beautiful and touching faith journey for both heroines. I've found another favorite dual timeline authors! Can't wait to read The Hidden Side which just recently released!
Nicole_C More than 1 year ago
Wow! Heidi Chiavaroli's debut novel "Freedom's Ring" had me hooked from the every beginning. This time slip novel followed the story of Annie David during the Boston Marathon bombing of 2015 and the historical story of Liberty Caldwell during the Boston Massacre in 1770. Fans of historical fiction and contemporary romance will thoroughly enjoy this book. The search for the family history of an emblem ring weaves the two stories together, as the love of God and the fight for freedom guides the heroines and heroes of the novel to forgiveness and the understanding of God's grace and never-ending love. Words can not describe how much I enjoyed this novel. I can not wait to read Heidi Chavaroli's next novel!
Nicole_C More than 1 year ago
Wow! Heidi Chiavaroli's debut novel "Freedom's Ring" had me hooked from the every beginning. This time slip novel followed the story of Annie David during the Boston Marathon bombing of 2015 and the historical story of Liberty Caldwell during the Boston Massacre in 1770. Fans of historical fiction and contemporary romance will thoroughly enjoy this book. The search for the family history of an emblem ring weaves the two stories together, as the love of God and the fight for freedom guides the heroines and heroes of the novel to forgiveness and the understanding of God's grace and never-ending love. Words can not describe how much I enjoyed this novel. I can not wait to read Heidi Chavaroli's next novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well woven story that reminds us of our ties to the past and the hope we have in letting God be our strength. While I am not a huge fan of time split, or first person Pov, this book held my attention all the way to the end. I am also not wild about Liberty's triangle that she was caught up in, I ended up appreciating how the author worked it into the story.
Pooke More than 1 year ago
Forgive Me? Annie was running in the Boston Marathon when a terrorist struck setting off a bomb. Both she and her cheering niece, Grace, were seriously hurt. Annie was consumed with guilt that Grace’s dreadful injury was her fault, and broke off contact with her niece and sister, Lydia. Only one good thing came out of that day: the mystery man who immediately stepped in to give Annie aid, and left his ring in her hand. Before she blacked out, he told Annie he would see her again, but years passed, and he never re-appeared. A quirky event brings them back together again. The ring he—Brad--left with Annie propels the two of them together to search for his family history. At the same time, Annie seeks forgiveness from Lydia and Grace. Both Annie and Brad have ghosts haunting them from their past. Annie has the guilt of deserting her family, compounded with the blame she feels for Grace’s injury. Brad carries memories of the gruesome horrors he faced during war. Ultimately, Brad has found a way to peace, but Annie isn’t sure she can do what he has done. Liberty lives in 1770 Boston right before the American Revolution. Of all times, Liberty finds herself falling in love with one of the hated British soldiers. Liberty’s life changes when she is viciously attacked, and she relocates. Hugh, a kind gentleman and a solid American patriot, begins to court her. Just as Liberty’s life is about to change in a good way, Hugh is deeply hurt by Liberty. While the chaos of war is going on, Liberty is consumed with the thought she is a bad person who has let a good man down. This is the story of real-life difficulties loved one’s face when they go through hard times with each other. The bitter fact is, sometimes only one person wants to continue a relationship. It is also the story of love lost, and found again, but not always as expected. The author intertwined Annie and Liberty’s stories in a wonderful way. Even though they faced completely different obstacles, both women were looking for the same thing. It was eye-opening to see the Revolutionary War through Liberty’s experiences. It was lots of fun exploring Boston’s famous places with Annie and Brad as they tried to hunt down his family connections. In this day of people having their DNA analyzed, hoping to discover their ancestors, this story might actually add some research ideas. This great book offers the hope that God will be there for you no matter what you have done, or not done. He will stay beside you even if no one else will. I strongly recommend this 5-star book to anyone who has ever wanted someone to forgive them, or who enjoys a well-written story. Tyndale House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of “Freedom’s Ring,” for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Jocelyn_Green More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one day. Both storylines, the present-day one and the one from the 1700s, held my attention with equal measure, which is no small feat for a time-slip story. The eighteenth-century story was told with all the historical detail and complexity I look for, and both stories featured characters I cared about with relationships I wanted to see resolve. I couldn't guess how the author was going to do that, so it was a joy to be surprised with how everything unfolded. I especially appreciated the spiritual depth and insights presented in this beautiful tale. Loved this book so much, and can't wait to see what Heidi Chiavaroli has in store for us next.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
Two completely different stories woven into one book - all because of one ring. It was an enjoyable read.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
Freedom's Ring is a classy book that has two timelines, both showing courage, dignity, heart binding, hearsting, touching and faith. You have one women in the 1770's, all I wanted to do was tell her all will be ok - or at least I hope it will - you love this book so much because you get so involved in the characters lives - you feel like their best friend and you want to protect them-cheer them up - you get frustrated, loving, hurt, and faithful. The one lifeline had her life damaged in a horrific way - and a ring came into her life that belonged to the women from 1770 and it effects her immensely. On her journey there is special man who is helping her out. Can they both reconcile their lives? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions in this interview are all my own.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I'm torn over whether or not I like a split timeline in a book, but I think it was done successfully here. Initially the two stories feel completely foreign to each other, but as the common thread of the ring is researched by Annie and her rescuer Brad, the deeper themes begin to weave together and by the end of the book I felt like there was unity between the separate eras. All the characters are flawed and make regrettable choices, but learn over time how depending on our faith and relying on God's strength is what makes us strong and carries us through to a new day and new choices. I loved Annie and Brad's sweet friendship and romance the most. I felt a bit disconnected from the emotion in Liberty's story, but it was a fascinating one. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
kristen4mk More than 1 year ago
Set in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, runner Annie David is haunted by the guilt she feels over her niece Grace's injury from coming to cheer her on as she finished the marathon on that fateful day. In her grief after the tragedy, she abandons her sister's family - shutting them out completely - and buries her emotions. This goes on for several years. As the book opens, she is barely making inroads to reconnect, and the road is definitely rocky. Liberty Caldwell is a bold and brave woman in the midst of the beginnings of the American Revolution. Her brother is killed in the Boston Massacre, and that day is a turning point for her in more ways than one. In the horrors that follow Liberty is faced with choices she never thought she'd have to make, and ultimately she must decide - will she trust God to care for her above all else? This novel has such an interesting point of view! I know bouncing back and forth between time periods has been done before, but the author has woven the stories of Annie and Liberty together seamlessly. Both stories are compelling and interesting. Both heroines are seeking justice and have experienced unusual tragedy. The supporting characters (Annie's boyfriend, sister, and niece; Liberty's British love interest and faithful future spouse) are compelling. It is easy to recommend this book - make sure to check it out! I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
VJoyPalmer More than 1 year ago
If Freedom's Ring is not on your radar, buy a new radar, invest in binoculars, or just get thee to a bookstore! This is not a story to be missed! In Freedom's Ring, half of the story is set after the Boston Bombing, while the other half is set spanning the American Revolutionary War. I really enjoyed all the history and research, and I felt like it wasn't overdone or drawn out. Heidi Chiavaroli intertwines these two unique stories so beautifully. Liberty and Annie have both been traumatized by horrendous actions. Having seen the worse in mankind, they must choose to forgive and ask for forgiveness when their fear dictates their actions. The author gracefully shows readers how we must sometimes rely on a strength that is greater, more supernatural than we can comprehend - God's strength. The romantic threads were so sweet, and while the How I Met Your Mother twist made my heart ache, you can't help but feel overwhelmed by the way the author wove God's love and grace into the story of such dearly loved characters. Four Stars ~ This story will capture your heart! Freedom's Ring is Heidi Chiavaroli's debut novel, and it is an extraordinary standalone story that you won't want to miss! Fans of Rachel Hauck's dual timeline stories, Katie Ganshert's Life After, and Becky Wade's True to You will especially enjoy Freedom's Ring, as will anyone who enjoys reading about the American Revolutionary War. I received a copy of Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli published by Tyndale from the Tyndale Blog Network. All opinions expressed are my own.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
Oh how I love a dual time-period story! A mysterious antique ring binds the stories of Annie David and Liberty Caldwell—Annie, at the Boston bombing of present day, and Liberty, during the Boston Massacre of the 1700s. I love historical fiction that feels exceptionally real. Especially when it is encircled with historical facts and people. This is a page-turner, easy to sink into and become totally invested. The characters are easy to relate to and sympathize with, and the descriptions put you in the scene. Freedom’s Ring deals with overcoming adversity, facing fears, relinquishing guilt, and finding inner strength. This is a good read that will leave you changed. I received a complimentary copy via Tyndale publishers and Netgalley.
BBulow More than 1 year ago
Heidi Chiavaroli’s debut novel intrigued me before I even held it in my hands, for several reasons; it has dual story lines, she writes in first person, and there is just something extra exciting about reading a debut novel. Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to realize that I had every reason to be excited. The voices of both Annie, in the present day, and Liberty, in Colonial America, are infused with truth, setting up for a rich reading experience. When I read a dual-time narrative, I always expect to enjoy one more than the other – usually the historical story line – however, in this case, I found both characters and situations equally compelling. While Annie’s journey is not dangerous physically, it is often emotionally strenuous. Liberty, on the other hand, is often in danger physically and war is a looming specter that haunts her and her friends daily. I enjoyed both stories for different reasons at different parts of each woman’s story, but I always felt fully invested in their well-being. I also loved the Bostonian flavor of the novel. Though it’s on my travel bucket list, I have never been to Boston, and Chiavaroli brings the city to life, both in the present day as well as the past, with mentions of specific locations, names and historical sites. The engaging historical details never attempt to usurp the story itself, and I’m even more eager to visit after reading this story. The novel opens in 2013 with Annie running the Boston Marathon. The bombing that day has a profound impact on Annie as a participant of the race, and even more so on her niece, Grace, who was there watching her race. Awash with remorse and guilt after escaping unscathed, while Grace must contend with permanent damage from the heinous event, Annie withdraws from her family, from running, from anything that reminds her of that terrible day. The only thing that keeps her going is a ring that a man who rescued her from the street that day pressed into her hand before he disappeared. She later meets this mystery rescuer, but instead of returning his family ring, she finds herself caught up in its mystery, caught by how much of a security it has been and drawn by its inscription, “Victory belongs to the strong.” In Colonial Boston, Liberty takes a position in the home of British soldiers, as their housekeeper, in order to escape destitution. Her family is dead, and she hasn’t heard from her brother, James, in so long that she fears that he might be as well. This decision sets into motion events that will affect Liberty for the rest of her life, and as war looms, the consequences may just break her heart and hurt those she loves. Though at first the reader may wonder where the connection lay, Chiavaroli weaves both stories together in such a way that feels seamless. While there is a bit of a romantic thread in the story of each woman, the story doesn’t focus on that, for which I was glad. The story to focuses almost entirely on their own growth; both make mistakes and both feel their life has dealt them a blow they cannot overcome, but despite that, they can still heal and grow. Liberty’s character goes through significant growth as she decides where to place her loyalty, and Annie walks an emotionally harrowing path of forgiveness, both seeking it from her family and herself. As Annie and Brad search historical records to uncover the ring’s history, her story comes closer and closer to Liberty’s, culminating in a satisfying end.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I know I say something like this every time but, good gravy this review is hard to translate from thoughts to words. I saw this on accident on NetGalley and threw a bunch of hopes, prayers, and wishes that I would be accepted. The synopsis drew me like a moth to a flame. The cover didn't hurt either. I knew that it might not be all that I expected since dual time frames are often hard to pull off successfully. But I still had to read it! I'm beyond glad I did since there's only one eh moment for me in the who shebang. Let's get that eh moment out of the way so I can get back to gushing. The faith felt awkward. It is integrated well but it felt like an after thought. It felt like a toss out to the Christian fiction reviewers that NEED that faith element in every single book they read. Like I said, it fit with the book but it didn't feel seamless and it didn't focus in like it could have. Without it, the book still would have been amazing. I think people forget you don't have to overly write and read it to draw people to Christ. It wasn't an awkward enough an eh moment to affect the rating, however. (I've been known to do that.) On to the good stuff! Like I said before, dual time books are hard to pull off. Heidi did so in a way that it meshed together really well, each time frame bouncing off the other to create an amazing story. What she did with two very well known events was nothing short of engaging. I needed to know the story of the ring. I knew the story but I had to ensure that Brad and Annie got to know it too. I think if it hadn't pieced it together, for them I would have been heartbroken. But then again, if Liberty hadn't found her happiness again I would have been heartbroken. I was so invested in these two women. But now I need to know what secrets Brad and Annie will find in her family tree...hint hint sequel. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
luvnjesus More than 1 year ago
Freedom's Ring, by Heidi Chiavaroli, is one of those novels that once you start will be hard to put down. Love and forgiveness is a theme throughout the book. A journey into past and present that inspires and encourages the reader. I decided to read Freedom's Ring because the Boston Bombing in 2015 is close to home. The author did an awesome job intertwining Boston, 2015 with Boston 1770. The Boston Massacre sparked the American Revolution; the Boston Marathon bombing set a city on edge. Both became the proof of where true strength lies. She tells the stories of Liberty, whose brother was killed in the Massacre; and Anaya, a runner who was injured in the bombing. Boston 2015: When Anaya was injured in the bombing, a man wearing who was wearing a Red Sox sweatshirt took her to safety, and gave her a ring. After she recovered, she looked for the man, but could not find him. When her mother calls her to tell her that her sister may be moving to England, Anaya decides to make contact with her sister and her niece. Anaya's sister is bitter about Anaya's desertion of her family. Boston 1770: Liberty traveled to Boston to search for her brother. She has no money, no means of support, and no idea where her brother is. A compassionate "Lobster Back" offers her a job as his housekeeper. When she finally finds her brother, she's somewhat afraid to tell him who she works for, even though, her employers politics don't compare to hers. A couple of weeks later, Liberty's brother, James, was the first fatality. This is the author's first book and was true to form. Looking forward to future books. Love all the historical facts that Heidi added and felt like I was walking through Boston. The antique ring connects both Liberty and Anaya. Thank you Tyndale House Publishers for sending an Advance Readers Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
TrishRobertson More than 1 year ago
Filled with deep emotion and dynamic characters, this book has something for everyone! A contemporary story line that keeps you on the edge of your seat turning the pages. A historical story line with such heartfelt characters they pull you into their story paired with rich historical details that will make you feel you’ve slipped thru the pages back in time. Some call this type of story a time-slip, others call it dual-timeline, which ever you prefer, I call this an engaging story that is sure to please those on both sides. They may be separated by a few hundred years, but both of the heroines in this story struggle to face their fears and to put their trust in God. I appreciated the real struggle and the character growth. I should note that there is a short scene where Liberty is physically assaulted; those sensitive to rape may find this scene difficult to read. I enjoyed reading Freedom’s Ring and I look forward to reading more stories from Heidi Chiavaroli. (I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
Suzie_W More than 1 year ago
This debut from Heidi Chiavaroli is so beautifully written, I’m not sure where to start. A couple of quick notes about the story maybe? It is a timeslip novel taking place at the start of the revolutionary war as well as 2015. Written in the first person POV of both heroine’s gives readers a peek into their thoughts, fears, and more. One of the things I loved about this story is how well the parallels of each of these women contrasted to each other. Liberty Caldwell is brave, choosing to give up on love in order to honor her brother while Annie David feels weak, cowardly but when the possibility of falling in love enters her world, she grasps it with both hands and holds tight. Liberty finds her way alone through most of her story while Annie clings to her new friendship and her reconnection with her niece. Liberty is fighting a battle of both her heart and of true war. Annie is fighting one of her demons (or as she calls them her fairytale nightmares). Almost 250 years separate these two women’s lives but a ring and the story behind it connects them in a poignant and heartrending way. Rich history is woven throughout the story (both in the historical and the modern aspects) and readers experience a bit of Boston throughout. Fans of Kristy Cambron and Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Dress will enjoy this new author. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
RHTM More than 1 year ago
First we read about Anaya. Then we read about Liberty. The two women seem completely the opposite in every way and nothing ties them together, not blood line or time or occupation or even goals in life. But as the story progresses the author reveals that they do have something in common – a ring. This is a great story, part mystery, part sweet romance. I don't usually read books like this, but the historical contexts pulled me in: the Boston Marathon bombing and the Boston Massacre. The book kept me turning pages and turning off the TV. Freedom's Ring does not disappoint. Difficult emotional issues are dealt with in a delicate, realistic manner that FEELS real, rings true and gets the reader thinking. I love the characters and hope some day to meet them again.
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
It only took one sentence for me to be completely captivated by this book. It was one of those stories I just couldn’t put down and stayed up way too late to finish. Freedom’s Ring offers a rich tale of courage in the face of danger and hope after great hurt. It’s a beautiful journey for the characters and readers to share together. The split timeline really added unique layers to the story and I was pleasantly surprised to find both heroines accounts told in first person. Each character was so well-developed and was transformed through their experiences. I was instantly drawn into Liberty’s life in Boston in 1777. My heart was in my throat as I followed alongside her through her heartache and healing. There were some very interesting twists in her story that I did not expect. Her patriotism and faith change her and her lessons may just change readers too. You all know how much I love my historicals, but I found myself just as engrossed with the contemporary half of this story. Annie has made her mistakes and she recognizes it. She’s a long way from where she wants to be in life, but she’s trying to make amends with those she loves and I admire her for that. I was right there with her as she and Brad searched for the clues to the ring’s past. Talk about a fascinating trail of clues! The historical details fit the story so well. And I enjoyed the balance between the mystery and the romance too. If you’ve read Rachel Hauck’s Wedding Collection, including The Wedding Dress, you will love this story and how it connects a special heirloom ring with individuals living centuries apart. The book definitely left me wanting to explore Bostons Freedom Trail and learn more about the area’s history. It also made me a fan of this debut author. I hope you’ll grab a copy of her book and enjoy it as much as I did. (Just don’t plan on getting much sleep! I read it in one night!) I received a free copy from the author. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this dual timeline story so much! Even days after finishing it, I still find myself thinking of the characters! I loved the way the author connected the past and present stories together. Both were equally interesting to me. I couldn’t pick a favorite time period because I enjoyed both storylines so much. I really enjoyed how the main characters in the modern day story were actually searching through archives trying to determine how this ring was connected to the past. It was fascinating. I felt that the author divulged just enough information in each chapter to leave me wanting more, but not feeling dissatisfied. The chapters traded off between the past and present, so I never had to wait long between storylines. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy dual timeline novels, but also to fans of both contemporary and historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Freedom’s Ring became a quick page-turner for me, and I hated when I had to put it down. The book is full of historical facts, and we put faces to many of those involved, yes fictional, but based on so much fact. Current day is a woman Annie David that was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, she has recovered, but her fears remain strong, and then the rescuer comes back in her life. The 1770’s story connects around in the form of an antique ring, and the amazing Patriots, so much courage and heartache. Liberty becomes a survivor and as such she becomes the connection to the present in the form of Bradford Kilroy, our rescuer. We spend a lot of time in research, and it is a lot like putting together a puzzle, you can’t stop until finished, but are you ever really finished? This book is going to make you think about your own roots, and maybe the hints give here by the author will allow you to do your own research. I loved how this book turned circle from one hard time to another and back, and putting faces to those who forged ahead in spite of adversity. I received this book through Edelweiss and the Publisher Tyndale, and was not required to give a positive review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
I am just lost for words to describe my feelings for Freedom's Ring. I just keep going to WOW! Being a debut novel, I was not sure what to expect. Well, I have to say Heidi Chiavaroli nailed it! This is definitely my top pick for 2017 and among my top picks ever. I had no clue which way the story was going to go, all the way to the end. The quote, "His strength will hold me fast", really spoke to me. Great reminder! This book is a fabulous Revolutionary era piece of historical fiction. I highly highly recommend it and would give it 1000 stars if I could. This is one book that is not to be missed. Looking forward to more by Heidi Chiavaroli in the future. I received this book from the Tyndale Blog Network program. This book is 100% my own honest opinion.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
Freedom's Ring by [Chiavaroli, Heidi]Freedom's Ring is published by Tyndale House and written by Heidi Chiavaroli. This historical Christian novel begins in Boston in 2015. Annie David was at the Boston Marathon bombing, in fact, she nearly lost her life there. This has caused her to become isolated and she feels guilty because the bombing left her niece crippled. Annie survived by being rescued by a man who she only has a foggy memory of. She also has an antique ring which has caused her to go on a search for the history of the woman who the ring belongs to and the hero. The story goes to Boston in 1770 where Liberty Caldwell was rescued by Alexander Smythe. He also offered her a job. She discovers much about her employer as time goes on. He loves poetry and he is a protector of Liberty. When the Boston Massacre occurs, her brother is killed. Lost and uncertain what to do she heads towards home, which has its own perils. She has such anger towards the redcoats and especially towards a captain who attacks her. She is able to escape with all she owns plus a ring which had been her friend and employer's. These women's live separate lives, but each has fear at their hearts. How can they get from here to a point when they can feel strong and secure? This is truly a historical book and I can tell the author has done research on the time periods discussed. I felt like this book spoke to something within me and it kept pulling me along through each chapter. The past and future are well woven together while including the difficulties, love, hope and more. Each lady suffers grief which was placed upon them by events they could not change. I was given this book by Tyndale house in exchange for my honest review. This book is available from Amazon...Here! This book is available from Barnes and Noble Here!