The Rebellion of Jane Clarke
It’s 1769, and Jane Clarke of Satucket, Cape Cod, has been banished from the family home as punishment by her domineering father after she refuses a marriage proposal from an eligible suitor. Although she cares for the man, she balks at the idea of marrying someone she doesn’t know well. She is sent to Boston to look after an elderly aunt. There are British soldiers in Boston at this time, stationed there to help enforce the Townshend Acts, and the city is a tense place. But Jane is happy to be there, away from her father, and near her brother, who is a law clerk for John Adams.
Jane, an intelligent young woman, quickly becomes interested in the political situation in Boston. Tensions eventually erupt into violence, and Jane is an eyewitness to the Boston Massacre, where five civilians are killed when British soldiers fire into a crowd after being harassed by patriots who resent their presence. Jane’s brother is among the wounded. The British captain who commanded the soldiers involved in the massacre is put on trial, with John Adams serving as his lawyer. During the trial, Jane must come to grips with her conscience when she sees all around her, even those she loves and admires, changing their narration of events to suit their political purposes.
Sally Gunning is equally adept at depicting a city on the brink of rebellion, a young woman’s coming of age, and the beautiful Cape Cod landscape. I was completely caught up in the story and enjoyed every moment.