The story alternates between present day and the 1770s in this inspirational novel. Anaya feels a tremendous burden of guilt after she is wounded and her niece loses a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing incident. She distances herself from her sister’s family for several years, which leads to resentment. Then Anaya reconnects with a man who helped her on the day of the bombing by giving her a family heirloom ring as a token of support. The ring is connected to Liberty Caldwell, sister of a Boston Massacre victim in 1770 and a reluctant servant for two British officers. Liberty is sexually assaulted by one of them. The book’s alternating chapters keeps the reader guessing about whether Liberty will find happiness, and whether Anaya and family will overcome the trauma of the bombing.
Readers will inevitably compare how two PTSD victims from different centuries worked to overcome their respective traumas. Chiavaroli’s recreation of Liberty’s 1770s world is absorbing, and I enjoyed that part most, since it was historical. Anaya is a flawed person but works to make changes, and her bumpy relationship with her sister is true to life. Chiavaroli’s debut novel is fine inspirational fiction.