Friday, March 27, 2015

Letters to Kezia

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Publication Date: January 14, 2015
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 208
Series: Book Two, The Puritan Chronicles
Genre: Historical Fiction

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9781491755365_COVER.inddIt is 1693 in Hereford, Connecticut, when Mary Case, the spinster daughter of a Puritan minister, finds herself hopelessly smitten by the roguish thief, Daniel Eames. Betrothed to a man she does not like or love, she is soon compelled to help Daniel escape from jail. Suddenly, she finds herself on the run, not only accused of being Daniel's accomplice, but also of murder.

The fugitive pair soon finds solace-and a mutual attraction-among the escapee's Algonquin friends until two men from Daniel's dark past hunt them down. After Mary is captured and returned home to await trial, a tragedy takes the life of her younger sister, revealing a dark secret Mary's father has kept for months. But just as Mary learns she is pregnant, she makes a horrifying discovery about Daniel that changes everything and prompts her to develop an unlikely bond with his mother, Rebecca, who soon saves Mary from a shocking fate. It is not until years later that her daughter, Kezia, finally learns the truth about her biological father and family.

Letters to Kezia shares a courageous woman's journey through a Puritan life and beyond as she struggles with adversity and betrayal, and discovers that loyalty can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.


The strength of this book is in its characters and the relationships between them.  I did not read the first book, but I was very moved by historical personage Rebecca Eames when she eventually appeared in this novel.  She was portrayed as an admirable woman.  I also really liked the protagonist, Mary Case, who was very genuine in her struggle to survive while still trying to be a decent human being. 

Letters to Kezia was a compelling page turner that caused me to stay up well past my bedtime.   I was glad that readers only see brief excerpts from the letters because epistolary novels tend to lack immediacy.  The novel is mostly told as a long flashback.  It's very understandable that Mary was unable to speak about her past.  That's what makes the letters narrative framework necessary.  She couldn't just tell her daughter, Kezia, the story.  It would have been too upsetting emotionally for Mary, and it would also have been harder for Kezia to deal with.  So the narrative format did work for me.

Readers who love dogs may find a couple of scenes in this novel too troubling to read.  There was one scene in particular that I found very cruel from an emotional standpoint to male protagonist Daniel Eakins' loyal dog.  So consider yourselves warned.

I also have to admit that I found all the major plot developments predictable.  There were no surprises for me.   As a reader, it's not always necessary for me to be surprised.  I was invested in the characters, and that carried me through the book.  For the most part, I enjoyed reading Letters to Kezia very much.

I would like to thank Peni Jo Renner for the free copy of this book which I received through this blog tour.


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About the Author
03_Author Peni Jo RennerPENI JO RENNER is the author of the IPPY award-winning novel, Puritan Witch: the Redemption of Rebecca Eames. Originally from North Dakota, Peni now lives with her husband in Maryland where she is currently researching for the third book in the Puritan Chronicles series.

For more information please visit the Puritan Witch Website and Facebook Page. You can also follow Peni Jo Renner on Twitter.

Letters to Kezia Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 9

Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, March 10

Wednesday, March 11

Thursday, March 12

Guest Post at Mythical Books

Friday, March 13

Monday, March 16

Interview at Becky on Books

Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, March 17

Wednesday, March 18

Thursday, March 19

Review at Book Nerd

Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Friday, March 20

Review at 100 Pages a Day

Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, March 23

Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 27

Review at Book Babe

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