Wednesday, January 9, 2019

#BookReview: Sword of Peace by Louisa M. Baum

Christian Historical

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Anna believes she is an unlovable spinster. The Court of Holland is hunting for heretics, and heretic women are drowned or buried alive while the Reformation rages across Europe. Anabaptists and their sympathizers are shown no mercy, forcing Anna to choose between staying loyal to her Catholic faith or betraying her innocent friends.

When Adriaen becomes a widower, Anna is conveniently available to look after his children while he journeys across the Netherlands preaching the ‘dangerous’ new faith. Anna consoles herself that because of the children, he will come back some day—if he’s not arrested first. If she’s lucky, the authorities won’t figure out where her true sympathies lie.

When the turmoil of the conflicted country forces her to flee, Anna despairs of ever finding a place of peace again. Will the God of the Anabaptists’ faith be strong enough to bring all her loved ones together again?

Anyone interested in exploring lesser known periods of the past, and in testing of faith and love during oppression, will enjoy reading this fast-paced and entertaining novel. 

I don’t know what I expected from Louisa M. Bauman’s Sword of Peace, but the novel proved both thought-provoking and historically entertaining.

In terms of scope, the story covers the birth Anabaptist faith, a Christian denomination that includes the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Hutterites. I’m not particularly religious but enjoyed exploring the history of the Anabaptists and Reformation. I’d categorize the religious themes as moderate, but I did not find them at all abrasive.

Anna is a na├»ve and inexperienced heroine, but I felt her perspective well-suited to her arc. I also appreciated the setting of the novel and the portrait it painted of sixteenth-century Amsterdam. Bauman’s prose is easy to read and though the story itself is not overly complicated, I found I enjoyed the I time I spent with this piece and wouldn’t have any trouble recommending to those looking for an off the beaten path historicals.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: January 8, 2019

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