Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blog Tour Review: The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins

From the Back Cover:

She spies for General Washington, betrays the Redcoats and battles for America's independence...

It's 1777, and a fledgling country wages an almost hopeless struggle against the might of the British Empire. Brought together by a fateful kiss, Anne Merrick and Jack Hampton are devoted to each other and to their Patriot cause. As part of Washington's daring network of spies, they are ready and willing to pay even the ultimate price for freedom.

From battlefields raging along the Hudson, to the desperate winter encampment at Valley Forge and through the dangerous intrigue of British-occupied Philadelphia, Anne and Jack brave the trials of separation, the ravages of war and an unyielding enemy growing ever more ruthless.

For love and for country, all is put at risk-and together the pair must call upon their every ounce of courage and cunning in order to survive.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed the first novel in this series, The Tory Widow, and I was excited to have the chance to be part of the blog tour for the follow-up. I ended up enjoying The Turning of Anne Merrick even more. It begins right in the thick of things, with Anne, Jack, and the rest of the gang covertly working for the patriot cause on the eve of the Battle of Saratoga. The synopsis gives a nice overview of the story and I won't go into the plot for fear of spoiling anything from either book, but I will say that I'm a big fan of the American Revolution and pretty much anything related to it, and The Turning of Anne Merrick is a welcome and satisfying addition to my collection. It encompasses everything I like in a book: lots of history, a historical setting that comes to life, memorable characters, a great love story, some action and adventure, some tears and laughter, and a plot that keeps me turning the pages and guessing at the outcome.

I really only have one quibble. Blevins does a wonderful job of bringing the time period to life, but I found the historical description to be too much at times, slowing the momentum of the story. In some places I appreciated the in-depth detail, but in others I found myself skimming to get back to the action. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that so many of the secondary characters were based on historical record. They are woven seamlessly throughout the story with the fictional characters. I think that's helped along by the subject matter, and it's part of what I love so much about the American Revolution; so many of the patriots we still honor today were just regular, everyday people. At that time, America consisted of two million regular, everyday people stretched out over 1500 miles of coastline, and against all odds a large portion of that population was able to unite in a common cause, create a nationwide system of communication, compliance, and defense, and oust an oppressive government--not too mention the mightiest military power the world had ever seen--

(Cue Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man here :)

Anyway, all that is to say that I'm amazed at what the Americans were able to accomplish, and Blevins does a great job of bringing that point home, of portraying every fighting American as a hero in his or her own way. This series fits right in with Sara Donati's and Beverly Swerling's early American novels, and should please fans of both. The first two books have covered New York and Pennsylvania, and I'm looking forward to the continuation of the story in the southern theater of the Revolutionary War.

My Rating:  4 Stars out of 5

The Turning of Anne Merrick
is on a blog tour!

Christine Blevins will be here on the 7th with an interview and a really cool giveaway! Click here to view the rest of the tour schedule. And check out Christine's website too!


  1. Great review, Jenny. I really enjoyed this one too, and am looking forward to the final installment in the trilogy.

  2. Good call on Donati and Swerling. The stories are completely different but the timeframes etc definitely fit.

    I am now planning to go back and read her first stand alone book, and then I will be waiting somewhat impatiently for the final chapter in Anne and Jack's story.

    1. I've got Midwife of the Blue Ridge to read too! It had been on my wishlist since I read Tory Widow.

  3. I didn't have a chance to read the Tory Widow yet, but have had it on my shelf for so long - however I loved the Turning of Anne Merrick. I like how we just launched right into the action rather than a long exposition. I have had Donati's books on my list to read but hadn't heard of Swerling - I will have to check them out!


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