When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.
With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.
The Loyalist’s Wife is the first of three books in The Loyalist Trilogy. The Loyalist’s Luck is scheduled for release in June, 2014 and The Loyalist Legacy in June, 2015.
Createspace | June 20, 2013 | 342 pages
- Set in frontier New York during the American Revolution, The Loyalist's Wife, Elaine Cougler's debut novel, features as its central characters a small group of colonists who remain loyal to the English crown. While I've not read a great deal of novels set during the American Revolution, I have read enough to know that Loyalists are rare as principal characters.
- The principal protagonists of the novel are John Garner and his wife Lucy. John and Lucy are the owners of a small, isolated farm in upstate New York. Both characters are well-drawn and sympathetic. I appreciated that John was willing to fight for what he believed in, even if it meant leaving Lucy to take care of their farm on her own in his absence. Lucy comes across as a strong woman who doesn't let circumstances and events, including a pregnancy, stop her from doing what needs to be done.
- Cougler has done a good job of describing John's daily life as a member of Butler's Rangers, but where she really shines is in her descriptions of Lucy's life back on the farm. Cougler shows just how difficult it must have been for a woman such as Lucy to take care of all the tasks associated with running a small farm on her own, especially at at time when the American patriots were seizing farms and driving Loyalists from their land.
- One of the things I enjoyed most about this novel was the fact that it focused on the Loyalist cause. Although I was already familiar with the history of the Loyalists prior to reading this novel, and recognize their contribution to Canada's path towards nationhood, this knowledge came from textbooks rather than novels. As a lover of historical fiction, I found it refreshing to read an American Revolution-era novel told from the Loyalist point of view.
- The Loyalist's Wife reads very quickly, and I remained engaged with the story for the duration of the novel. Nevertheless, I did find the prose sometimes repetitive, and the number of life-threatening situations both John and Lucy found themselves in, but still managed to get successfully out of, a little too much. While these situations served to showcase how dangerous life was for Loyalists (and colonists in general), I had a hard time believing that so many bad things could continue to happen.
- Overall, if you're interested in reading about the American Revolution from an uncommon point of view, The Loyalist's Wife is well-worth reading. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment in the trilogy.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Source: I received a copy of this novel as part of Elaine Cougler's virtual book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Loyalist's Wife is currently on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Click here to check out the full tour schedule.
About the Author
For more information please visit Elaine’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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