Publication Date: January 14, 2015
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Series: Book Two, The Puritan Chronicles
Genre: Historical Fiction
It is 1693 in Hereford, Connecticut, when Mary Case, the spinster daughter of a Puritan minister, finds herself hopelessly smitten by the roguish thief, Daniel Eames. Betrothed to a man she does not like or love, she is soon compelled to help Daniel escape from jail. Suddenly, she finds herself on the run, not only accused of being Daniel’s accomplice, but also of murder.
The fugitive pair soon finds solace-and a mutual attraction-among the escapee’s Algonquin friends until two men from Daniel’s dark past hunt them down. After Mary is captured and returned home to await trial, a tragedy takes the life of her younger sister, revealing a dark secret Mary’s father has kept for months. But just as Mary learns she is pregnant, she makes a horrifying discovery about Daniel that changes everything and prompts her to develop an unlikely bond with his mother, Rebecca, who soon saves Mary from a shocking fate. It is not until years later that her daughter, Kezia, finally learns the truth about her biological father and family.
Letters to Kezia shares a courageous woman’s journey through a Puritan life and beyond as she struggles with adversity and betrayal, and discovers that loyalty can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
Praise for Letters to Kezia“In the tradition of author Peni Jo Renner’s gripping debut novel, Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames, Letters to Kezia recounts the tale of courageous, compassionate, and relatable Mary, whose connection to Rebecca and her family is unforeseen and profound. The reader is captivated at the very first page, as Letters to Kezia is a story of forbidden love, deep family secrets, intrigue, murder, and atonement. Another beautifully written triumph for this author, whose immense gift for story-telling transports the reader into each scene so deftly, one can almost smell the wood smoke and hear the crackling of the fire in the hearth.” – Kelly Z. Conrad, award-winning author of Shaman
“Peni Jo Renner enthralled readers with Puritan Witch, the ordeal of Rebecca Eames, who was condemned to hang from Salem’s gallows as a witch. Now the Eames saga continues as Peni uses her special brand of witchery to bring Mary Case and Daniel Eames to vivid life, and shows us just how much a young woman will risk for love. Letters to Kezia is a poignant, true-life tale from colonial New England’s heartland which will captivate you, and keep you guessing until the end.” -JoAnn Butler, author of Rebel Puritan and The Reputed Wife
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Mary Case is the daughter of the town's Puritan minister in Hereford, Connecticut in 1693. When prisoners are brought in, it is Mary's job to take care of their wounds and feed them. When Daniel Eames is brought in for thievery, Mary finds herself taken with him after several visits and when Mary learns of Daniel's fate, she quickly decides to help him escape. When the escape plan goes awry, Daniel convinces Mary to leave with him. Not wanting to leave her ill sister, Lizzy, but also not wanting to marry the manipulative assistant preacher Noah, Mary reluctantly escapes with Daniel and begins an adventure and builds their relationship trying to evade the men looking for them. Years later, Mary's daughter Kezia finds the letters that Mary wrote about her time with Daniel and learns the true story of her father and her parentage.
Continuing the story of her family's history, Peni Jo Renner now turns to Daniel Eames. Equipped with only one note from his and Mary's trial, a beautiful and intriguing story has been woven. At first, I was a little unsure of Mary's actions that lead her to leave with Daniel. She seemed very naive to be taken with this prisoner so quickly that she would trust him so fully and leave with him. However, looking at Mary's Puritan background, upbringing and actual history, this is a little more believable. I enjoyed reading about Mary's time on the run with Daniel and his faithful dog Riff, especially her encounters and time within the Algonquin Indian camp. It was interesting to see her perspective of the 'savages' change as she spent time with them. Mary's character grew for me as the duo was recaptured and returned to Hereford, at this point she was a much stronger person and able to stand up for what she wanted. I was glad to see the reappearance of Rebecca Eames toward the end of the story and the bond that she was able to create with Mary.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
PENI JO RENNER is the author of the IPPY award-winning novel, Puritan Witch: the Redemption of Rebecca Eames. Originally from North Dakota, Peni now lives with her husband in Maryland where she is currently researching for the third book in the Puritan Chronicles series.
For more information please visit the Puritan Witch Website and Facebook Page. You can also follow Peni Jo Renner on Twitter.