Publication Date: February 10, 2013
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00BEB77R8″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511P-qdBFoL._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″]It’s 1890 and Hope is expected to produce children with her doctor husband, Peter. Hope has no intention of living up to the expectations of the time. The abuse that Hope suffered at the hands of her father resonates in the way she lives her life. Her father is dead….or is he? The Sapphire Brigade, an organization dedicated to victims of child abuse offer their help when strange murders start to occur.
The author, Kathy Steinemann, provided me with a copy of this novel in exchange for a review.
[easyazon-link asin=”B00BEB77R8″ locale=”us”]Vanguard of Hope: Sapphire Brigade Book 1[/easyazon-link] is written in journal format which allows the author the luxury of very short and yet very emotionally driven chapters. Hope is a damaged young woman and her struggle screams from the page. Women of her time are slaves (though she doesn’t want to minimize the struggle of slavery when it’s so near the rear-view mirror). Women are ornamentation and no one would believe that she, a mere woman, capable of ordering contraceptives through a magazine. She is determined, because of her past that she will not bring children into such a damaged and perverse world. Expectations be damned.
The damage that Hope suffered didn’t allow her to build real connections with anyone which most resonates in the fact that Hope makes decisions that would lead the reader, maybe Hope’s only true friends, to want to shake her and wake her up. She lives in a time apart from the reader and really in life experience a lot of people can’t fathom. The empathy the reader feels for Hope speaks to the quality of Steinemann’s writing. I did often wish that I was getting more of the picture than was available in the journal format but for the book Steinemann was writing, Hope alone was probably a wise decision.
The Brigade is introduced sensibly with an interview that looks into who they are and their motivations. I have to say, I didn’t know how it would all tie together when I read the description and started reading this novel but Steinemann doesn’t stretch the bounds of realism. Steinemann gives us love, loss, violence and murder and a champion for the little guy.
To say I was locked into the narrative would be an exaggeration but [easyazon-link asin=”B00BEB77R8″ locale=”us”]Vanguard of Hope: Sapphire Brigade Book 1[/easyazon-link] was a good, solid, read and well worth picking up.
Book 2 of the Sapphire Brigade series, [easyazon-link asin=”B00CKG2VGI” locale=”us”]The Doctor’s Deceit: Sapphire Brigade Book 2[/easyazon-link] is available from Amazon.com.
If this sounds like a book for you, you can order it through Amazon.com by clicking on the image or book title anywhere in this review. Links for Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk appear below.
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