It is ironic to me that I’m writing a Christian fiction novel and I really don’t read a lot of Christian fiction. When I went on the reNEW writers conference, I met a sweet woman who had just published her first novel. It was so great listening to her story and hearing the journey that she endured while writing, rewriting, editing, and submitting her first novel. I am glad that Heidi Chiavaroli’s novel Freedom’s Ring was my first real look at Christian fiction.
Freedom’s Ring is a time-slip novel, a novel that compares two stories in two different time periods. The story follows Anaya, who, along with her family, suffered trauma from the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. In the midst of the chaos that day, a mysterious hero gives Anaya a ring that is able to sustain her through her healing journey. They spend the rest of the book learning the history of the ring, trying to discover its ancient meaning, while learning about themselves in the process.
The ring dates back to the 1700s, on the onset of the Boston Massacre. During this time, Liberty, whose brother James is a Patriot, is servant to a Redcoat. She develops feelings for the Lieutenant and must choose between her allegiance to her country and her desire for love and acceptance.
This book was Christian fiction done right. It captured my heart with emotion, but it also left me inspired. I felt like I was there with the women in the story, talking with them, getting inside their brains. From a writer’s perspective, I was able to admire the character development and the change of thought as Anaya heals from her trauma and Liberty undergoes the trauma of the Boston Massacre as well as the political drama of the American Revolution. Heidi does a wonderful job in making a story so historical to us so relevant to the reader.
I also love that Heidi brought to life the city of Boston. I didn’t really know a lot about Boston when I read this book. I have been to Boston a few times to check out colleges around there and to visit my aunt, but the streets were not familiar to me after visiting a few years ago. I felt like I had bought a one-way ticket to Boston and had taken the scenic route, admiring the culture of this city rich with history.
The book is great for anyone who loves history. I can imagine a few people I know that like Christian fiction and history enjoying this novel. The romance is innocent, the emotions are real, and the historicity is realistic. I give a solid thumbs up to Heidi for a great success on her first novel.
For more information about the book, including where to buy it, you can check out Heidi’s website at http://www.heidichiavaroli.com/