“She didn’t want slave catchers to search their property. She didn’t want Samuel to believe slavery would never be outlawed. She didn’t want the world to be the way it was,” Lyn Cote writes of Honor in her novel, "Honor." First in the Quaker Brides series, this three hundred and eighty-four page paperback targets those who enjoy a romantic historical fiction with Christian overtones set in the early eighteen hundreds in America. With no profanity, topics of slavery and physical abuse may not make it apropos for immature readers. This reviewer wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. Twenty-four year old Honor Penworthy expected her life to be easy living on her family’s Maryland High Oaks Plantation, complete with many slaves. But when her grandfather passes away, she learns the man who she thought loved her has left her destitute, giving everything to her cousin simply because of her position regarding abolition. With only one hundred dollars to her name, Honor and Royale, a black maid that grew up with her, flee north to Pittsburg, hoping a distant cousin will take them in until they can get established in the community. When Honor cannot find any employment and her cousin becomes deathly ill, she agrees to marry her son, Samuel Cathwell, a deaf glass blower that has a chip on his shoulder thinking everyone is against him. When the cousin passes away, the only option for the two women is to follow Samuel and his young orphaned nephew to Cincinnati where he purchased land to have his glass business. Although her cousin taught her how to communicate with Samuel using sign language, the two maintain emotional walls of pain and jealousy, causing continual problems in their arranged marriage. As Honor observes racism against all freed slaves in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, her heart is set to help anyone coming to their door while Samuel struggles to understand why his wife is so adamant about protecting this race of people. Through kidnapping, a lawsuit, abandoning a deaf child, and hiding runaway slaves, Samuel and Honor test and try their emotional relationship time and time again, ever wanting to understand and love each other. Set up during a period when hatred ruled and trust was rare, this well-written first book in the series leaves plenty of heartfelt romance and struggling relationships for future reading. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
Honor by Lyn Cote Publ: Tyndale House c.2014 Series: Quaker Brides Honor Penworthy is comfortable with her Quaker roots. Her grandfather who has raised her since her parents death is not comfortable with his. He has denounced his upbringing in favor of a more liberal faith that allows him to keep the slaves that make the functioning of his Maryland plantation possible. Now he is dying and Honor is his heir. She has promised her father that when she inherits the plantation she will free the slaves even though it means the end of the plantation as her family has known it for several generations. Unknown to her, her grandfather has changed his will to forestall this occurance. He is leaving the plantation to Honor’s cousin who is not even related to the old man. In the process he has left Honor almost penniless. After her grandfather’s death Honor and her former maid Royale, whom she has freed, head to family in Pennsylvania in hopes of starting a new life there. When she arrives she finds that things are not as she had hoped. The household is made up of an elderly cousin, the cousin’s grown son who is a deaf mute, and the cousin’s orphaned grandson. Due to circumstances that Honor never even dreamed of, she finds herself married to Samuel, the deaf mute, and on her way to Ohio with the child Eli and Royale. Follow Honor’s story as she and Samuel learn to live together and love one another in the harsh wilderness of Ohio. Watch as Honor and Samuel come to realize what the life of freed and runaway slaves is like and strive to do their part to help. See what happens to Honor’s cousin Darah as a result of inheriting the family plantation. Become involved in Honor’s life as she grows into the strong woman God intended her to be. I recommend this as an engaging look at life in the frontier wilderness of Ohio in the early 1800’s. It is a glimpse into the hearts of those who to strove to better the lives of others at an uneasy time in the history of our country. I received this book through The Book Club Network for my unbiased review.
4.5 star rating
Honor’s devotion to her Quaker beliefs makes her anything but weak as she fights against slavery and for the new family she has so quickly inherited. Strong in faith and determined to do what is right no matter the law, she is a spirited testament to the strength a wife can offer her husband. The unfolding of their sweet romance is a joy to read, and their shared triumph over difficult pasts and a dangerous present is well deserved.
Honor’s abolitionist stance leaves her disinherited from the home she loves and helpless to free her family’s slaves. Seeking sanctuary and work in the home of a distant relative, she instead finds a deaf man caring for his orphaned nephew as well as his dying mother. Samuel is determined to shut the world out as his inability to hear has made him an outcast. After he proposes to Honor, they journey to Ohio to make a new life for themselves. Her maid, Royale, and his nephew Eli—along with the dangers they face—make their marriage of convenience one of trust, hope and love.