Faith and Honor

Written by Robin Maderich
Review by Marcia K. Matthews

Jouncing in a hired carriage on her return to Boston in 1775, Faith meets a mysterious stranger, Mr. Irons. Her friend Ezra Briggs is a solicitor at law and a Tory; Faith is a rebel. Mr. Irons is Ezra’s friend and would like to be Faith’s.

Author Maderich builds characterization from individual actions: Ezra polishes his spectacles. She sprinkles adjectives freely: “a pretty salt-glazed stoneware plate.” Her descriptive technique of adding one adjective each sentence to fill in the picture makes for vivid scenes. She describes the function of an object: Faith dusts powder “over the ruffled, lacy edge of her chemise” for comfort, not vanity. In an expected treat, she brings Dr. Joseph Warren to life: the hero of Breed’s Hill whose namesake tavern is today a popular meeting place in Charlestown. She doesn’t shrink from battle scenes. Her panorama of the long siege of Boston, with soldiers bleeding on fine furniture, is memorable.

Tension and intrigue arise from the interplay of key characters. When Faith finds out Irons is a British officer, a question of honor opposes her attraction for him. Her cause and his duty form the conflict. He is concerned her activities will cause her to be accused of treason to the Crown. Swept up in the birth pangs of a nation, the lovers lie to each other. As agents of opposing forces, they make sparks together.