The Tea Chest

Written by Heidi Chiavaroli
Review by Bryan Dumas

Liberty or Loyalty. This is the question faced by two women—Hayley Ashworth and Emma Malcolm—in Chiavaroli’s engaging multi-period romance. Emma is the daughter of John Malcolm, a customs official in Boston during the Tea Party period. John has arranged her hand in marriage to Samuel Clarke, a consignee for the East India Company. But Emma’s heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a Patriot and participant in the Tea Party. Hayley comes from a broken home in Boston and has a former love, Ethan Gagnon, and is trying to become the first woman Navy SEAL. When she goes home to reconcile with her druggie mother, a chance encounter reunites her with Ethan. A tea chest gift from Ethan begins a search into the past and through it, Hayley learns about her own past and her future, eventually having to decide between liberty and loyalty.

Chiavaroli mixes a solid blend of historical facts with fiction to create a believable narrative that she uses to weave the two women’s lives together. Careful attention is paid to how each story ties together, and they seamlessly flow into one compelling story. Inspirational elements are allowed to form naturally and add to the overall message.