The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges
Publication Date: March 25, 2020
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook; 252 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
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All that is documented of Lidia Wardell's existence is her one act of defiance in May of 1663. Lidia Wardell walked into her town meeting house naked. For this act, Lidia was given a punishment of being stripped down to her waist and publicly whipped. Lidia was not the first to be punished or the last, but her actions tell a larger story of persecution and perseverance.
The Rose and the Whip is a unique look at a very specific incident. With limited information, the time period is examined thoroughly through Lidia's punishment. I was amazed that the whole story took place within the period of time that it took for Lidia to be whipped. I can't imaging the feeling of being whipped, but the author has managed to recreate the feeling. With each lash of the whip, Lidia recalls how she has come to be tied to the whipping post and those that have suffered before her for their faith. It was intriguing to read about Colonial America and the persecution of those of the Quaker faith by a group of people that left their homes due to religious persecution. Through Lidia the bravery and fortitude of all those who chose to defy the church are highlighted. I do wish the writing had stayed firmly in from Lidia's point of view instead of jumping to tell the reader what is unknown. Overall, a deeply moving story of courage and bravery in Colonial Massachusetts.
Everyone has a history and a story. Jae uses the most alluring stories from the chronicles of her own ancestry and others around her to create timeless tales of everyday people making history. On her quest to capture the essence of walking in their footsteps, she travels and uses her pencil and camera lens to imagine them in their own surroundings.
Jae lives on the Tennessee River in Alabama with her husband and companion pooch.