NOT BY SIGHT
Gripping Sophomore Novel from a Rising Historical Romance Talent
With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.
Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country's cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she'll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.
And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them--or the faith they'll need to maintain hope.
This one has been hovering on the top of my TBR pile for a couple of weeks. As anxious as I was to read it since I loved Breslin's debut novel, I was apprehensive too. Why? I dreaded reading that white feather scene. Anyone remember Walter Blythe in Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery? He's Anne and Gilbert's son -- a gentle soul with a poet's heart. He gets a white feather when he doesn't enlist in the army as soon as war breaks out. My eleven-year-old heart took a beating over that scene and I still remember it to this day. So, yes, you might say that a former traumatic reading experience hindered my ability to pick up this book. (Now my book nerdiness is well and truly confirmed!)
I'm glad I overcame my trepidation though because Not By Sight is a soul-stirring read I wouldn't want to miss. It's definite Downton Abbey ambiance holds huge appeal while the gripping plot kept me spellbound. There are so many twists and turns and downright surprises! And the history revealed -- aspects of the British home front in World War I that I wasn't even aware of made this read all the richer.
I grew to love Grace (after the white feather incident!) She's passionate about every cause she embraces, from the suffragette movement to supporting the war effort. And though she is from a privileged class, she isn't afraid to get her hands dirty in order to help either cause. Her naivety at the beginning of the novel gradually falls away as she begins to grasp the fact that not everything can be measured in black and white.
Her hero, Jack, is as brooding as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. I loved their encounters. Witty dialogue highlights Grace's gumption and humour. Jack is intrigued in spite of himself. But a different kind of intrigue is afoot as well. This is a spy story after all, and Breslin sets her characters (and readers) on a merry chase.
Absolutely loved the scripture tie-in for the book -- both in story and title. For we live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) It is intricately woven throughout the plot and affects a multitude of characters in various ways. Breathtaking and uplifting stuff.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Not By Sight please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday August 30 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!