Opening in the Low Countries in the Netherlands in late August 1566, Rachelle Rea’s “The Sound of Diamonds” sets the stage for an interesting tale unfolding during the Protestant Reformation. This is not an oft-explored time period for Christian historical fiction, which makes “The Sound of Diamonds” all the more noteworthy. The two primary characters, Gwyneth Barrington and Dirk Godfrey, represent both sides of the denominational divide, the former being Catholic and the latter Protestant. Rea handles both perspectives respectfully and deals with the inner conflict that accompanies a growing and maturing faith.
Told in the alternating first-person viewpoints of both Gwyneth and Dirk, the story progresses at a quick pace. Despite a distressing first encounter months earlier, Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the convent where she has been staying as it comes under siege by Protestant raiders. The journey to return her to her home in England is fraught with dangers and perils, not the least of which is the condition of her own heart. Although the shift between characters in each chapter is slightly confusing, the plot unravels cohesively, flowing from one event to the next without interruption. This is a quick read. It is mostly a romance, and while the love story is perhaps somewhat overdone and advances too quickly, it is a clean, wholesome narrative. “The Sound of Diamonds” is the first book in a trilogy, and although it does not end on a cliffhanger, it prepares for the continuation of the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.