The Rebellion of Jane Clarke
By Sally Gunning
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061782145, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
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On the eve of the Revolutionary War, a young woman is caught between tradition and independence, family and conscience, loyalty and love, in this spellbinding novel from the author of The Widow's War and Bound
Jane Clarke leads a simple yet rich life in the small village of Satucket on Cape Cod. The vibrant scent of the ocean breeze, the stark beauty of the dunes, the stillness of the millpond are among the daily joys she treasures. Her days are full attending to her father's needs, minding her younger siblings, working with the local midwife. But at twenty-two, Jane knows things will change. Someday, perhaps soon, she will be expected to move out of her father's home and start a household of her own.
Yet some thingsincluding the bitter feud between her father and a fellow miller named Winslowappear likely to remain the same. When the dispute erupts into a shocking act of violence, Jane's lifelong trust in her father is shaken. Adding to her unease is Phinnie Paine, the young man Jane's father has picked out as son-in-law as well as business partner. When Jane defies her father and refuses to accept Phinnie's marriage proposal, she is sent away to Boston to make her living as she can.
Arriving in this strange, bustling city awash with red coats and rebellious fervor, Jane plunges into new conflicts and carries with her old ones she'd hoped to leave behind. Father against daughter, Clarke against Winslow, loyalist against rebel, command against free willthe battles are complicated when her growing attachment to her frail aunt, her friendship with the bookseller Henry Knox, and the unexpected kindness of the British soldiers pit her against the townspeople who taunt them and her own beloved brother, Nate, a law clerk working for John Adams.
But when Jane witnesses British soldiers killing five colonists on a cold March evening in 1770, an event now dubbed "the Boston Massacre," she must question seeming truths and face one of the most difficult choices of her life, alone except for the two people who continue to stand by herher grandparents Lyddie and Eben Freeman.
Grippingly rendered, filled with some of the lesser known but most influential figures of America's struggle for independenceJohn and Samuel Adams, Henry Knox, James OtisThe Rebellion of Jane Clarke is a compelling story of one woman's struggle to find her own place and leave her own mark on a new country as it is born.
Sally Gunning lives on Cape Cod with her husband.