Like Chaff in the Wind by Anna Belfrage
Book 2 in the Graham Saga
Paperback, 392 pages
Troubador Publishing Ltd
December 17, 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time-Slip
Source: Received from the author for review
“Matthew Graham committed the mistake of his life when he cut off his brother's nose. In revenge, Luke Graham has Matthew abducted and transported to the colony of Virginia to be sold as indentured labor. Matthew arrives in Virginia in May 1661 and any hope he had of finding someone willing to listen to his story of unlawful abduction is quickly extinguished. If anything, Matthew's insistence that he is an innocent man leads him to being singled out for the heaviest tasks. Insufficient food, grueling days and the humid heat combine to wear him down. With a sinking feeling, he realizes no one has ever survived their seven years of service on the plantation Suffolk Rose.
Fortunately for Matthew, he has a remarkable wife. Alex Graham has no intention of letting her husband suffer and die. So she sets off from Scotland on a perilous journey to bring her husband home. Alex is plagued by nightmares in which Matthew is reduced to a wheezing wreck by his tormentors. Sailing to Virginia, she prays for a miracle to carry her swiftly to his side. But fate has other plans, and what should have been a two month crossing turns into a yearlong adventure - from one side of the Atlantic to the other. Will Alex find Matthew in time? Will she be able to pay the price of setting him free? Like Chaff in the Wind continues on from The Rip in the Veil, taking Alex and Matthew's love story to a new continent.”
First, a note: I have not yet read book 1 in this series, The Rip in the Veil, so I can’t comment on how the second book builds from the first. I can, however, tell you that you probably should read the books in order. That being said, if for some reason you decide to read them out of order, say for a tour and ran out of time to read the first, you won’t be totally lost. The author includes enough information so that you can piece together the major events that have occurred, however it isn’t necessarily right at the start of the book – so there were periods of confusion until I got those tidbits.
The majority of the novel takes place on ships headed to the American Colonies and in Jamestown, Virginia. A shorter amount of time is spent in Scotland. Jamestown was a refreshing setting in that not many stories take place here – but it wasn’t the Jamestown that I expected or experienced upon visiting the historical site. When the book opens we are in 1661, so approximately 50 years after the Jamestown most of us think about with the starving settlers, Pocahontas and John Smith, and various interactions with the natives. It was nice to see this growing Jamestown – even if it was still a somewhat lawless land.
The time travel element was strong, but not so much in terms of people time traveling throughout the book. Alex, our heroine, previously traveled to this time and place from the present. So while she isn’t currently traveling you still have her dealing with outcomes, mindset, and trying to fit in with the ways of women in the 17th century. I think that the time travel element was probably more present in the first book.
While I struggled a little bit with the beginning – mostly due to not having read the first book – it was a quick read and quite enjoyable. The characters were entertaining, the plot moved right along, and I felt like the characters grew quite a bit throughout it. The main focus of the book really is the relationship between the characters.
Author Anna Belfrage also has written book 1 in the series, The Rip in the Veil and is currently working on the rest of the Graham Saga. You can visit Belfrage website or blog for additional information about the book.
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I have a giveaway to offer today – for one copy of Like Chaff in the Wind and it is open INTERNATIONALLY! The giveaway will be open until April 7th. Entry is through the Rafflecopter below.
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