Heidi Chiavaroli crafts a wise Christian romance out of volatile circumstances in Freedom’s Ring, a novel about finding the courage to start anew, detailing the lives of two women across centuries. From the Boston Massacre and the American Revolution to the Boston Marathon bombing, history proves the triumph of grace.
Anaya David—a marathoner injured in the 2013 bombing, whose now estranged sister and niece were also injured—struggles to reclaim her relationships. Together with Brad, a man who helped save her, and who entrusts her with a family ring, she embarks on a journey to uncover the ring’s history. Their genealogical quest alternates with a fascinating account by Liberty Caldwell, a young American in the 1770s whose loyalty is tested, and with Anaya’s slow re-entrance into her sister’s life.
An uncomplicated plot emphasizes characters whose imagined guilt keeps them from accepting the bounty life has to offer. Christian themes on God’s sovereignty and forgiveness are drawn without glossing over the hardships the characters face when confronting their fears. Anaya dwells on her role in her niece’s injury, believing that had she only completed the race sooner, she and her relatives could have avoided the bombing. Liberty hesitates in admitting the full facts of her past to her betrothed. Each character finds the healing value in moving forward. A dynamic narrative alternates between eras, allowing one woman’s challenges to spur the other’s. Loose parallels between their attempts to embrace new love highlight the flawed self-image they’ve formed in response to pain.
Chiavaroli captures the spirit of the eighteenth century with sharp insights. Liberty’s chapters especially resound for their delicate portrait of a woman caught between patriotism and pragmatism. Despite rising tensions in her community, the need to make a life for herself as the sole survivor of her immediate family takes precedence. Her involvement with the British—when it would have seemed traitorous—provides an original canvas for conflicting emotions. They reach a crescendo in an unexpected encounter that reveals Liberty’s complex personality.
Evocative, rich with symbolism, honest in its portrayal of human errors, Freedom’s Ring explores what happens when individuals reach the limit of their own ability and allow God to step in.
Two women united by a ring but separated by time tie together Chiavaroli’s engrossing debut novel. Annie David survives the Boston Marathon bombing after being taken to safety by an unknown rescuer who gives her an antique ring and promises to find her again. The novel moves back in time to 1770, when Liberty Caldwell comes to Boston in search of her brother. After she fails to locate him, she decides to stay and takes employment as a British lieutenant’s housekeeper. It is a tumultuous time in Boston, and despite the lieutenant’s attempts to protect his employee, she is assaulted by a British captain. In her distress, she steals the lieutenant’s only ring and flees the escalating tensions in the city. In present day, Annie is struggling with depression and guilt after her niece was crippled in the bombing. However, receiving the ring and researching Liberty’s history help Annie to overcome her negative feelings. The two women, separated by hundreds of years, both struggle through fear and loss to discover their true strength. Annie and Liberty are flawed, but their pain is familiar, creating an instant, lasting connection with readers. Chiavaroli’s writing flows easily and the pacing keeps the pages turning in this moving novel that covers tough topics such as PTSD, sexual assault, and forgiveness with realism and nuance.
When Annie David is wounded in the bombing just before crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon, she is swept up in the arms of a stranger who carries her to an ambulance and presses a ring into her hand. In 1770, Liberty Caldwell is reluctantly working in the home of two British officers while awaiting the return of her only relative, her brother, a sailor who is soon killed in the Boston Massacre. She is left pregnant after a rape. Annie and her rescuer eventually search genealogical and historical records to search the significance of the ring and how it relates to a poem found in an eighteenth-century time capsule. Chiavaroli brings together two romances that occur more than two centuries apart bound together by the gold signet ring with an inscription that inspires its owners to find freedom and rely on God.
A powerful journey into past and present. This masterful love story of God and country both haunts and heals long after the last page.