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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
A Willing Heart is a Christian historical romance written by Mary Andersen. Sarah left her home in the middle of the night after she had been assaulted by her stepfather. In England, in 1682, she had no legal recourse and would be judged and blamed if she were to go to the authorities for help. She had hastily packed a bag with a change of clothing and her family Bible, and set out into the cold night air. Thoroughly soaked and shivering, she crept into a nearby home and changed her clothing. She was awoken by the homeowner, one of her stepfather’s friends, who was threatening to send for Edward. Travelling the streets of Bristol after that encounter was even harder as she had neither her shoes nor her Bible. Then Sarah was attacked and lost consciousness. When she awoke, she was on a ship headed for Oxford, Maryland. The ship’s captain had an indenture contract for her passage, which he planned to sell to the highest bidder when they reached the New World.
Mary Andersen’s Christian historical romance, A Willing Heart, is entertaining and inspirational. Andersen makes this period of history come alive in the passages describing England and the New World. Her research into the challenges and the difficulties the early settlers and growers faced in the colonies has resulted in a fascinating and compelling saga. John and Sarah are fun to watch as they learn to adapt to each other’s idiosyncrasies. I think my favorite character, however, is Aunt Elizabeth, Sarah’s favorite relative and the one she was fleeing to when she left her home, and Amos, the ship's cook who befriends Sarah on her voyage. Elizabeth’s a treasure and a rarity for those times, and Amos is all heart. Add to the mix some useful tips on making lye soap and the importance of eradicating tobacco worms, and you end up with a marvelous piece of historical fiction. A Willing Heart is highly recommended.