If Michelle Griep wrote it, I want to read it. No questions asked. I first discovered her writing last year, and I’ve been hooked ever since. This is one author whose works I would read regardless of what they were about. “The Innkeeper’s Daughter” introduced me to the Bow Street Runners trilogy, and I was intrigued by the whimsical characters and the undeniable plot tension. I did not think that these details could be matched, but I was wrong. Michelle Griep does it again, and even better, in the trilogy’s conclusion!
Set in Regency England, “The Noble Guardian” turns a cross-country road trip into a breathtaking, spinetingling trek. What would seem to be a rather straightforward journey becomes a prolonged adventure with unrelenting suspense and a beautiful tapestry of faith unfolding throughout. The book cover alludes to this as well. At first glance, the commanding sight of Samuel Thatcher astride a horse catches the eye, but a closer look reveals a carriage enshrouded in a layer of fog. Indeed, within the story itself, circumstances are often not clear-cut, and neither are the characters themselves. The reader is challenged to view things from a different perspective and to learn along the way.
Griep excels in both scenic description and character development. Readers ride along in the cramped, bumpy carriage through rather desolate environs and with occasional stops at roadside inns. The issue of propriety and its importance with regard to a woman’s reputation is a point that is made evident, contrary though it may be to twenty-first-century sensibilities. The villains are ruthless and lend a continuous air of danger, while the protagonists have their own personal issues to work though. A scene at a country fair, reminiscent of a circus, adds some levity and offers a connection between Regency and contemporary society. The narrative progresses via the shared third-person omniscient viewpoint of Abigail (Abby) Gilbert and Captain Samuel Thatcher. Abby is naïve and yet she possesses amazing fortitude and a compassionate heart: “She’d learned long ago while enduring the hurts of her stepmother that only through prayer would she find peace.” Samuel has a jaded worldview shaped by his years as a lawman and culminating in his role of protector. Both experience an emotional faith journey that speaks across the centuries to the hearts of readers today, reminding all of us who “The Noble Guardian” truly is.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.