Captured by Love

Written by Jody Hedlund
Review by Elizabeth Knowles

Michilimackinac Island was part of Michigan Territory when it was embroiled in the War of 1812. This story opens in 1814, when the island was British-occupied with the threat of an attack by the Americans.

Angelique MacKenzie, the daughter of a Scottish fur trader and his unfaithful French wife, is the ward of a cruel stepfather, Ebenezer Whiley. She loves coureur de bois Pierre Durant, and is also very close to his blind mother, Miriam. Angelique is betrothed to Pierre’s brother Jean, who is away presumably with the Americans. Jean is a sensible marriage choice, but the handsome fur-trading Pierre holds Angelique’s heart. She loves Michilimackinac and cannot bear the thought of either leaving it to go with Pierre or staying alone much of the year while he is away. As war threatens the island, Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties lie. They suffer hardships and dangers as Angelique agonizes over which brother to marry, and Pierre decides where he stands politically.

Some may find the villains in this book are a little over the top, especially Angelique’s stepfather, Ebenezer. A nitpick is that the Durant family’s French-Canadian ethnicity does not come through in a fully fleshed way, although they do say “oui” and “non.” This book is not “preachy,” and while the main characters talk about having relationships with God, they are generally too enmeshed in the action to have much time for formal religion. The unusual setting itself adds to the interest of the story. Known today as Mackinac Island, this jewel of a place combines beauty with fascinating, multi-cultural history.

It’s worth a look for those who like adventurous, historical, Christian fiction.