Monday, September 7, 2009

Review: A Heart for Any Fate

Suzanne Lyon’s A Heart for Any Fate paints a vivid picture of the life of Hannah Allison Cole, an ancestor of the author. Though a work of fiction, Lyon draws on her impressive frontier lore expertise to fill in missing pieces of this extraordinary woman’s life. The story portrays the life of a young woman from her 1790 wedding day in Southwest Virginia to her 1843 death in Western Missouri.

Although many facts are known of this remarkable woman, Lyon has given Hannah dimension through speculation based on research and woman’s intuition. The author shows meticulous attention to the period’s customs and attitudes.

Sections of the story unfold in the journal Hannah keeps, written in the form of letters to her husband’s cousin, Dolley, who later becomes the nation’s first lady, Dolley Madison. Although the letters were never mailed, the journal brings to life woman-to-woman details of a strong marriage, but a marriage of challenge, heartbreak and fear.

True to the time, Hannah follows her husband to migrate west, leaving her comfortable home and family to uncertainty and disasters, yet with hopes and joys. Hannah’s brother-in-law marries her sister, and strained relationships fuel a turbulent attraction of forbidden love.

Wonderfully vibrant, A Heart for Any Fate weaves our nation’s early history into a story filled with emotion, hardship, and most of all, enduring love.

A Heart for Any Fate, originally published in 2005 by Five Star, may be purchased through the author’s website or ordered by e-mail


Alice Trego said...

Great review of Suzanne's latest book, Mary!

I've read Hannah's story, and must admit that you've captured key points in this well-written work about Suzanne's ancestor.


Heidiwriter said...

Good review, Mary. Suzanne's books are always great!