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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Duchess and the Dragon Review

Recently, while Books-a-Million was having their 2 for 3 sale on Christian fiction, I picked up some great reads. Some I'm not willing to give up (see post and review here) because the book just struck a chord with this therapist. Others were great reads, but I want to share the fun with others!

So I'm having another giveaway. This time, the book is by Jame Carie, entitled The Duchess and the Dragon. Here's the back cover copy:

Two Worlds, One Destiny

Drake Weston, Duke of Northumberland, is heir to wealth, prestige, and power. But when his rage pushes him to a tragic mistake, he must leave everything behind. Not just his home, but England herself. Cloaked in a false identity, Drake slips aboard a ship bearing indentured servants to America.

Serena Winter lives out her Quaker beliefs tending the sick who arrive on ships in the Philadelphia harbor. But never before has she seen such squalor and misery as she finds on the latest ship from England. Nor has she ever met such a one as the half-conscious man with the penetrating eyes and arrogant demeanor. Though she saves his life, even taking him into her family home, there is little gratitude or humility in this man. And yet Serena is certain that beneath the brash exterior is a heart in search of peace.

Against the rich backdrop of Regency-era England and a young America, two passionate, seeking hearts find in each other the strength to face hard truths – and confront an insidious web of deceit that may destroy all they hold dear.

Donning my therapist cap, I like to give reviews from that perspective. Drake Weston, a duke, has to give up his identity, affluence, wealth and inheritance for that of an indentured servant. This kind of consequence is full blown, touching every aspect of a person's life. Carie writes Drake as a tortured soul, and well she should, considering what he's gone through!

Her main technique is Drake's internal dialogue with himself. Drake hears a "voice," but don't think in a crazy, schizophrenic way. The voice is negative, dark, berating...and Drake believes it. It's words become some sort of inward mantra he has: "You're worthless. No one wanted you and no one ever will. Just look at you. You're nothing."

This spoke true to me because I've counseled people who have thought this exact same thing. And when you believe something like this, you act as if it's true. Everything revolves around this internal schema...and its hard to beat. So I was curious how Carie would write Drake's character arc.

Enter Serena. She's a member of the Quakers - a very simple people with a simple faith and simple trust. She wants what all young girls want: love. And Drake doesn't exactly fit the bill but she'd drawn to him. But to truly love him would mean she'd have to give up everything she holds dear...she'd be excommunicated from her people group. And for what? A man who's not telling her the whole truth? A man who might not even believe the real truth were he told it...because he's got his own inner dragons to contend with?

See why this is an interesting book? You've got to see how it all ends. Carie plays it out beautifully.

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