Colonial Williamburg comes alive in this gentle yet gripping novel by Laura Frantz. On the brink of the Revolutionary War, Lady Elisabeth Lawson is left forsaken when her father - a prominent Tory - skips town to save himself from the upcoming problems with the local Patriots. He believes Elisabeth's betrothed will come to her aid and take care of her. It turns out that her betrothed was never that interested in her except for how she could ally him with her father's political connections, and now that this advantage is out of the picture, he removes himself from Elisabeth's life.
Elisabeth rallies to the challenges she meets. Newly homeless and without many friends, she decides that she will make a way for herself even though that means seeking gainful employment. She leaves behind her father's title and changes her name to Liberty, finding work at a local inn which is also a meeting place for prominent Patriots, including one Noble Rynallt. Noble has been one bright spot in her downfall from favorite daughter of Williamsburg to little better than a servant, as he took on the indenture of her maid and offered her initial safety when his fellow Patriots were seeking her father after his sudden disappearance.
Noble Rynallt lives up to his name in astounding ways. He's a quiet, generous, hospital man with strong beliefs in what is right and wrong. He's built a peaceful secluded home that pays homage to his Welsh ancestry, yet he's willing to risk it all for the sake of his new country's liberty. And there's a another Liberty who has caught his eye - this young woman who has a depth of character to survive the loss of the life she knew, who is also willing to put herself in danger when she agrees to become a spy for Patrick Henry.
These two characters sparked to life within these pages, consuming my thoughts any time I had to put the book down. As war creeps closer for the colonies, much will be sacrificed to make America the nation they hope she will become. I would recommend this book to any fans of historical fiction, and doubtless it will be on many Best Of lists at the end of the year - for a very good reason! If you want to check it out, be prepared for two things: 1) You *will* swoon every time Noble breaks out a Welsh endearment, and 2) You aren't going to be certain who lives and who dies until the final pages. This is a gem and one that will bear rereading in the future!