Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund
Bethany House, 2013
*I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.*
Summary (from the back cover):
A Love That Would Shape History Forever
Because she’s a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she’s determined to marry well, so she’ll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.
Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he’s taken by Susanna’s intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.
When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely advisor. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.
WOW! I completely loved this book. It is such a good read.
I was completely immersed in the plot, the characters, and the history that was packed into this novel. This book is beautifully written.
Susanna Smith is a compassionate and independent woman. She has a love for education and reading, but she has limited access to learning. Benjamin Ross is a poor lawyer who has a passion for speaking the truth and standing for justice. He desires to prove himself and do something important with his life.
Susanna believes in following the law and respecting authority. But, when she meets a runaway indentured servant, her beliefs are thrown into disarray. She struggles between following the law and having compassion for this woman. Will she break the law in the name of doing what is right? And will Ben’s influence on her be good or bad?
In a past encounter when they were children, Susanna made a hurtful and cutting remark to Ben that has been etched in both their memories. This provides for quite an interesting and amusing first interaction in the book, when, as adults, their lives intersect again. Ben wants to push Susanna’s buttons and see how she will react to him now that they are adults. From this scene, it is immediately apparent that Susanna and Ben will have dynamic interactions throughout the book.
I think this quote is the most perfect way to describe Ben, and also what it is like to read his and Susanna’s scenes together:
“He was infuriating and intriguing and altogether likable at the same time” (63).
Ben and Susanna’s relationship was my favorite part of this book. It was always exciting and entertaining to read their scenes together, whether they were arguing, discussing important topics, or becoming close friends. I completely loved them together and they had a chemistry that jumped off the page. Their time together was always filled with intelligent conversation, romance, and tension.
In their relationship, Ben and Susanna challenged each other, and through their conversations, they were able to sharpen each other and make each other better. It reminded me of this verse:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17, NIV
This seriously has to be one of my favorite literary couples. Their chemistry and the tension between them provided for a dynamic relationship.
A wonderful book- I loved it. One of my favorites of the year and I can’t wait to read it again.
Rating: 5 stars