Monday, December 2, 2013

A Newfound Land by Anna Belfrage

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Read: December 1, 2013

It’s 1672, and Matthew Graham and his family have left Scotland. Having taken the drastic decision to leave their homeland due to religious conflicts, Alexandra and Matthew hope for a simpler, if harsher, life in the wilds of the Colony of Maryland. Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as you want them to, and the past has a nasty tendency to resurface at the most inappropriate moments. Both Matthew and Alex are forced to cope with the unexpected reappearance of people they had never thought to meet again, and the screw is turned that much tighter when the four rogue Burley brothers enter their lives. Matters are further complicated by the strained relations between colonists and the Susquehannock Indians. When Matthew intercedes to stop the Burleys from abducting Indian women into slavery he makes lifelong – and deadly – enemies of them all. Once again Alex is plunged into an existence where death seems to threaten her man wherever he goes. Will Matthew see himself – and his family – safe in these new circumstances? And will the past finally be laid to rest? A Newfound Land is the fourth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

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I've been a fan of Anna Belfrage since the publication of Like Chaff in the Wind, but my respect and admiration for her work grows with each successive novel which probably explains the overwhelming sense of excitement I felt when her latest release, A Newfound Land, found its way to my door. 

One of my favorite aspects of the series is how Belfrage uses each novel to address different historical subjects. Book four examines the complexities of race relations and slavery in colonial America which I found quite interesting despite my familiarity with the subject matter. You see, Belfrage never whitewashes history, even when her characters share the moral high ground, she is careful to examine multiple schools of thought, often pitting the more conservative Matthew against his free-thinking wife which brings me to another much appreciated aspect of the series. 

Few writers can compete with Belfrage when it comes to authentic characterization. Her cast feels real from the first page to the last, their emotions and motivations so elaborately illustrated that one often forgets they are figments of the author's imagination. Each book portrays a different chapter of world history, but the series is first and foremost about family and the dynamic that holds them together regardless of the tribulation they face.

Misfortune is not an unfamiliar concept in these novels. Matthew and Alex share a romance, but their story is by no means a fairy tale. The historic scope of the books make them interesting, but the depth Belfrage exhibits in showcasing the ups and downs, the good, the bad and even the mundane make these books a remarkably poignant and memorable reads. 

Wonderfully balanced and delightfully authentic, A Newfound Land more than lives up to its predecessors, sweeping readers off their feet and into the next chapter of the Grahams' exciting journey. 

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"Aye," he said, "home." And for the first time he meant it. This was home, here was his family, and this was his land.
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check out all the stops on anna's belfrage's a newfound land virtual book tour

Monday, December 2
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Giveaway at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Tuesday, December 3
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, December 4
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Thursday, December 5
Interview & Giveaway at The Most Happy Reader
Friday, December 6
Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Monday, December 9
Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, December 10
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, December 11
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, December 12
Review at bookramblings
Friday, December 13
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Guest Post at The Little Reader Library
Monday, December 16
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 17
Review at Anglers Rest
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, December 18
Review & Interview at Kincavel Korner
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books


Celticlady's Reviews said...

I also love Anna's writing. I have only read the book before this one but the way she writes, I was able to read the book without knowing a lot of the background. I also have this book up for review. Great review!

Jessika Hoover said...

I've never heard of this series before, but you definitely have me interested. I'm going to have to look this up. Great review!