Sarah’s War

Written by Eugenia Lovett West
Review by Thomas j. Howley

In 1777 an embryonic America is fighting a seemingly doomed battle for its existence. Seventeen-year-old fervent patriot Sarah Champion is sent from her Connecticut farm family to stay with her apparently impoverished loyalist aunt in Philadelphia as an act of familial charity. Sarah’s twin brother has been recently lost in battle against the British at Long Island. When Sarah reaches her aunt’s home, she finds nothing is as it seems. Her aunt, Mrs Sage, is actually quite rich and harbors even more secrets.

The British occupation army makes Philadelphia its winter headquarters, and Sarah is emplaced into the social scene of senior British army officers through her aunt’s connections. But she is also an asset of the small but formidable intelligence network of General Washington to spy on the enemy. The young patriot finds it is not as simple as just two sides, and she can trust no one. Sarah enters a dangerous world of sordid and treacherous espionage and crime and must face heart-rending choices.

This outstanding historical novel is filled with exciting twists and surprises to the very end. Interesting historical characters play parts along with the fictional players. Men should not be turned off by the book’s title or cover; this superbly well-written tale of war, espionage and intrigue will appeal to all, especially those interested in the American Revolution. The first half of the book completely draws the reader in, and the second half takes off with pounding action and rising drama. It portrays the brutal treatment of American women by British soldiers and their officers. Yet it shows there was honor and gentleness on the part of at least one British aristocratic officer. Even the author’s bio fascinated me. Enthusiastically recommended.