Historical Fiction Book Review: An Hour Unspent
Publisher's Description"Once London's top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can't help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge--and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina's father soon finds his whole family in danger--and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape."
My ReviewAn Hour Unspent, by Roseanna M. White, is the third book in the fantastic Shadows over England series. Set in England and France at the beginning of WWI, An Hour Unspent is a truly fabulous historical fiction novel. Ms. White perfectly incorporates elements of history, suspense, mystery, faith, and romance into a thoroughly satisfying story that is entertaining and enthralling.
With great skill, thorough research, and thoughtful insight, Ms. White creates characters that are utterly engaging. As WWI begins to change the outlook of everyday life, the characters endeavor to overcome their insecurities, face their fears, and make courageous choices for the good of others. Authentic and vulnerable, the characters are inspiring and intriguing as they struggle with their doubts and develop their faith against a backdrop of uncertainty. Like the second hand moving across the face of a clock, the characters persevere, and their experiences are consistently unforgettable even after the book has been finished.
Within this novel, there are also deep themes that enrich the story and provide plenty of ideas to ponder. The choices and actions that stem from poverty are pivotal to the storyline, as are the moments of grace that balance the moments of despair. There is redemption for the lost, but there is also struggle, pain, and doubt. There are patterns of sorrow and loss that can only be overcome with honesty, humility, and forgiveness as the characters find wholeness in the unconditional love of Jesus. There are no easy solutions to difficult problems, but there are always gentle reminders of hope that whisper into the darkest hours offering new beginnings and changed hearts.
With each carefully crafted paragraph, Ms. White has succeeded in creating a well-written story that is unique, intriguing, and compelling. An Hour Unspent is an immensely satisfying novel that is very enjoyable, touching, and thought-provoking. I recommend it eagerly.