The Freedom to Love

Susanna Fraser. Carina, $4.99 e-book (173p) ISBN 978-1-4268-9944-7
Fraser (A Christmas Reunion) treads well-trampled literary ground in this middling historical. British officer Henry Farlow is seriously wounded at the Battle of New Orleans. He wanders onto an abandoned Louisiana plantation just in time to find half-sisters Thérèse and Jeannette Bondurant digging up a cache of jewels, the sole legacy left to the mixed-race girls by their irresponsible father. The young women agree to clandestinely treat Henry’s wounds at their late father’s empty house—and are startled by the arrival of the siblings’ white relatives, come to take ownership of the property. When Henry kills a man in defense of 13-year-old Jeannette, the sisters and their unexpected champion dodge prosecution and embark on a dangerous trip to England. Thérèse and Henry fall passionately in love, but an outside threat leaves Thérèse to make a difficult decision that’s plot-mandated but entirely out of character. Fraser’s a bit weak on the finer historical points, and the story leans toward the formulaic, but readers who don’t mind a lightweight story will appreciate the believable relationships among the three central figures. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Genre: Fiction
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