Christian - Historical Fiction
288 Pages
Reviewed on 12/29/2014
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Author Biography

Thomas Macy is a freelance writer, novelist, short story author, researcher, and computer programmer. He is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the American Christian Fiction Writers. As a speaker and teacher, he seeks to share the craft of writing. As an historian, he enjoys discussing Christian issues in an historical setting. As a programmer, he has written software for writers ( that runs as a Microsoft Word add-in and performs basic editing. Tom is currently at work on the third book in the Fury series. For more information about Ruined and other works, please visit

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Ruined by Thomas Macy is the follow-on from First Fury. Escaping with her life and a man named Coonie from a cargo ship mutiny, Ann finds herself in California. With all her money stolen, she sets up a shop, trading in salvaged goods, alongside a small girl named Bekah, whose mother died in childbirth and whose father abandoned her to go looking for gold. Ann takes her in and provides her with a good home until her father comes looking for her. Having failed at finding the gold he was looking for, he claims his daughter back and turns her to prostitution. What will Ann do when she finds out what has happened to Bekah? How will it affect her plans to travel home and how will Bekah cope on her own when she escapes?

I didn’t read the first book in the series so I wondered how I would get on with Ruined by Thomas Macy. I have to say that although a deeper understanding of the background would have been helpful, it wasn’t really needed. This book is clear, there is plenty of information that gave me a good idea of how the first book went and I didn’t feel that I couldn’t get through this one without having read First Fury. Mr Macy has done an excellent job with this book; there’s lots of historical information, lots of detail but not too much, and the storyline and characters were very well written. Thoroughly enjoyed it, looking forward to the next one!

Katelyn Hensel

Ruined by Thomas Macy is a historical fiction novel with Christian themes and messages. With an opening in a rather rustic setting, you are instantly transplanted into the American West circa the Gold Rush times, and experience the rough harshness of life during those times. The main characters are Ann, Bekah, and Bekah's father. While much of the story is centered around Bekah and her father's troubled relationship, some parts are centered around the interesting bond between Ann and Bekah. It was a familiar bond, yet didn't get the screen time that I wanted it to. You could tell that much of Bekah's feelings and experiences were aided by her interactions with Ann, which was interesting.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and anything to do with the West and Western America is always very interesting to me. I thought what happened to Bekah was awful, but fascinating. One of the big themes, for whatever reason, in Western historical fiction is incest or abusive fathers, uncles, cousins, etc. While that makes me very reluctant to live in the Old West, it does make for a very poignant and meaningful story. Particularly Bekah's musings when she is alone with the Lord were very insightful. This is a story about pain and forgiveness, and finding yourself through finding God. Any person who likes Christian fiction should absolutely love Ruined and be able to identify with the themes and issues wonderfully. Ruined is a thought provoking book with interesting, yet not all good, characters who make you want to love and hate them. Thomas Macy is one author to watch if you frequent the Christian fiction circuit.

Heather Osborne

Ruined by Thomas Macy is the story of two people, Ann and Bekah, and their unlikely bond forged in tragic circumstances. Branded a ruined woman, Ann seeks passage back to the only man she ever loved. While on the way, the ship’s crew mutinies and Ann ends up stranded in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush. Bekah, a twelve-year-old girl, is left abandoned by her father after her mother passes away. Ann takes pity on the girl and adopts her into her life. Just as they are planning to head back East, Bekah’s father returns and coaxes his daughter back to him, but life with him is far from ideal. After hearing the abuse her adoptive daughter is suffering, Ann embarks on a treacherous journey to reunite with Bekah. Will the pair be able to overcome all their trials and meet again?

Mr. Macy tells a compelling story. I found this novel to be very well researched, although the footnotes scattered throughout were a bit distracting. I would have liked to see a historical note at the end instead. Some of the definitions were obvious as well. I liked the relationship between Ann and Bekah, but I wanted to know more about Ann’s background. I feel she has more in her history than is revealed. I hope the author intends to write a sequel so we know what becomes of Ann and Bekah. I found Ruined to be a bit tragic, but also hopeful. Ann and Bekah remind readers that not all hope is lost in the wilderness.