Book Review: Between Two Shores

27 Feb

The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-
fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war.

Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays . . . until attempts on Samuel’s life convince her he’s in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She’s risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated?

Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, strawberry-rhubarb pie, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at jocelyngreen.com.

My Impressions:

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green is one of those novels. Those meaning it is almost beyond description how much I loved this book! Those meaning it is difficult to put into a brief review how much it touched me. Those meaning this one really deserves more than the 5 stars allowed. Set during the what Americans call the French And Indian War, it visits a time and place that I knew nothing about. It is full of adventure. Its characters are unforgettable. The truths expressed resonate. And it is a book I just could not put down! It really does have it all. Very highly recommended.

Green brings to life the uncertainty and danger of living in the border country of Canada. The Seven Years War has been raging across the globe, but the conflict becomes personal when the British are within striking distance of Quebec and Montreal. In this world lives Catherine Stands-Apart, a woman who spans the French and native cultures, yet feels like she belongs in neither. She is a trader who believes she can remain neutral in the conflict between New France and New England. But as the people of Canada starve, the war comes to her doorstep and she is forced to make choices that will impact both the nation and those she loves.

Catherine is a very complex character. She is half Mohawk, half French. Her heritage puts her in a unique position to work with both native and colonist, yet she is part of neither community. She abhors the practice of captive ransom, yet has a young woman living under her care that she bought from raiders. She loves a father who is abusive and negligent, and she loves a man who has left her behind. She longs for connection with her sister, yet cannot live with her Mohawk mother’s people. And she lives a life built on trade — in commerce and relationships. Her story unfolds over the few weeks leading up to the battle between British and French forces to take Quebec. There were times when I loved Catherine’s courage and independence, and times when I wanted to shake some sense into her! πŸ˜‰ Her character is one of most well-written I have come across in a long, long time. Other characters do not suffer from the time spent on Catherine’s development. All were given the same care to allow the reader to come to know them. The structure of Between Two Shores is complex as well. It is told in present day narrative with complimentary recollections to achieve a complete backstory. The pacing is perfect, revealing the right amount of story at just the right moment. It is evident that Green did her research homework with this book. If you are a fan of historical fiction, you are in for a treat. I loved finding out in the author’s notes just what (and who) was real. There are a number of themes that run throughout the novel — identity, forgiveness, sacrifice. The historical practices of ransoming and adopting captives by the native peoples are deftly integrated to point to the truths of God’s ransom and adoption of His people.

Between Two Shores will definitely make my best of 2019 list. I just wish it was on my book club’s list for this year, because this is a book I want to talk about! And you will too. So grab a couple of friends and read this book together. I promise you will love it!

Very Highly Recommended. (my highest rating)

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

3 Responses to “Book Review: Between Two Shores”

  1. carhicks March 4, 2019 at 9:22 am #

    Wonderful review, I have added this one to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

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