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The Latest

To Love Anew – Around The World In 80 Books #67

Categories: Books,The Latest

Setting: Australia
Time Period: 1800’s

At the beginning of “To Love Anew,” we meet two ordinary people living in England. All too soon, one mistake brings their lives to a screeching halt. Shackled and chained, they are arrested, tried and sentenced to live out their days in a prison colony in Australia, then, New South Wales. This novel by Bonnie Leon covers their former life, trial and new life in the land down under, and most importantly, how they found hope and joy in a new country.

Hannah and John’s story seems like something that would come straight out of a novel. (No pun intended.) Yet, I vividly remember learning about this era in school and how terrifying it would have been to live in England during this time. Don’t like your servant? Accuse them of theft and have them sent to Australia/New South Wales! Corruption was the law of the land and all too often reigned. In Hannah’s case – not being able to pay a month’s worth of rent was reason to have her thrown in prison. For John, self-defense was a crime. These two found themselves serving between seven years and/or life in servitude because of their “crimes.” Yet, in the land of their imprisonment, hope dawned. I won’t give away the story, but let’s just say, guy meets girl, they fall in love and a few other things happen that make life – a life together – a possibility.

I so enjoyed each and every character in this book! They went through so much together and changed a lot between the first and last page. John dealt with a good deal of regret in his story and Hannah learned how to be a strong woman, even in the midst of grief. I feel like many could walk with these characters through their troubles and relate to their situation. Being severely punished for something that could have been forgiven isn’t an easy road to walk – whether you’re in a physical prison or at home, church or with friends.

Conclusion: I really liked this book! Historically, this wasn’t the most glorious of England’s time. Over a course of 80 years, 160,000 prisoners were sent to Australia by the British to escape the death penalty. But, we learn through Hannah and John that God can turn anything around for good. “To Love Anew” is the first book in the Sydney Cove Series and two more books follow, “Longings Of The Heart” and “Enduring Love.” Though I haven’t yet read the next two in the series, they appear to follow John and Hannah’s story in Australia/New South Wales. So, if you’re looking for a series that keeps the same main characters – you might want to check this series out! This is a great book about history, hope and love!

Author: lynnschronicles

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