Saturday, January 27, 2007

Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi

Before Anya Seton, there was Ann Rinaldi.

Well, that's not exactly true. Anya Seton published her last novel long before my favorite young adult historical author started her career - but I discovered Rinaldi before Seton. When I was in high school, she was one of my favorite authors. I couldn't get enough of her slices of early-American life - especially this one about a young girl surviving the Revolutionary War.

The story is about Jemima Emerson, daughter of a staunch Rebel family in 1770s Trenton. However, loyalties aren't always clear-cut in wartime. Jemima's older sister is married to a British soldier, and her parents employ that sister's old beau - John Reid, a handsome, young British sympathizer - as Jemima's tutor.

Jemima can't stand John. And, with war in the air, she can't understand why her father would hire a Tory in a position of influence over her.

But appearances can be deceiving - her parents know a secret about John that she's about to stumble onto. And that's going to change everything between them.

I've read reviews of this book that don't like the premise of its main romance, but I've never a problem with it. My only real concern is how quickly it zips through the last four years of the War. The epilogue sums up a whole lot of experience into one neat, little package that I would have preferred to have followed in narrative. But I suppose that would have made the book far too long by pre-Harry Potter young adult standards. Anyway, it's a minor quibble about a fine book.

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At Sun Feb 11, 12:14:00 PM EST, Anonymous TotK fan! said...

I love this book! It was the first book (besides Harry Potter) that started my love affair with reading and subsequently writing. I picked it up when I was 12 and every now and then I still reread it.


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