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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For the Love of Liberty by Christine DePetrillo

For the Love of Liberty by Christine DePetrillo
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (56 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rated: 4 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Grace Heaton is a Patriot ready to fight for independence. Desperate to get involved, she slips on her brother’s clothes and plans to sneak toward battle, but a cry of pain in the night changes everything.

Isaac Fields is a runaway slave. He enlists with the powerful British army in hopes of winning the freedom he so deserves.

When Isaac is quartered in Grace’s Boston home, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness take on an unexpected meaning.

Ms. DePetrillo's strong-minded main character and immediately apparent problem make for a very engaging beginning to For the Love of Liberty. The story takes place during the opening to the American revolution and is set amid the British occupation of the colonies.

From the start, Grace Heaton's indignation with the British is apparent, and immediately engages all sorts of reader sympathies. Her frustration - mostly because of her mother's sense of civility, is also very understandable. Readers could be forgiven for having have certain expectations about the young soldier she will have to contend with: but Isaac Fields is both a surprise and something more of a mystery. His motivation and objectives seem apparent, but one has to doubt him, somewhat. Grace obviously doubts him - but she also finds it in her heart to empathize, perhaps. And she won't be stopped from doing her patriotic duty, even if it plunges her into danger.

In this too brief a tale, Ms. DePetrillo grapples with some tough topics - from patriotism to racism, to simple human decency. She manages to take on big issues on a small scale however; we see their impact on a few everyday folks, and in the exchanges between only a few people, rather than on a grand scale. As interesting as this is, it is almost too much complexity in a very short frame work. Believability becomes an issue, not because of the conflict, but because of the number of them. The resolution comes far too quickly.

For the Love of Liberty could have been the opening of a much longer work - and the author's style and skill plainly could have carried this off. Do read, and you will find, like me, that you end up hoping Ms. DePetrillo is working on a book-length work.