‘NO SAFE HARBOR,’ by Elizabeth Ludwig

November 29, 2012 Rissi JC 6 Comments

‘NO SAFE HARBOR,’ by Elizabeth Ludwig. Review of the 2012 historical fiction novel. All review text © Rissi JC

REVIEW: While reading this historical work of fiction, it surprises me to learn that this isn’t Elizabeth Ludwig’s debut. As she’s not a name familiar to me, I didn’t realize she had more novels to her name. Before I go into what I like about this one, here is how the story goes.

New to America by way of Ireland, Cara Hamilton is searching for someone. The man she meets on the docks upon arrival at Ellis Island wants to know who. Rourke Walsh is driven by revenge for his father’s death for so long that he has forgotten what it’s like to live with peace, and to accept love again. He desperately wants to learn the whereabouts of Eoghan Hamilton and Cara is his only lead. He knows the man who killed his father has a twin sister but the more he gets to know Cara, the more he wishes she had nothing to do with the man whom Rourke has promised to visit his revenge on. Will there ever be truth between Rourke and Cara?

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Historical prose is a tricky business. There’s a fine line between historical “accuracy” and boring. Sometimes historical novels read boring because of their “dry,” detailed information dump but in this novel, I’m quite enchanted. It reads like a “dark” story because of the hatred of the protagonist. There’s still some interesting history tidbits but each of its characters is has good attention. I love the bustling boardinghouse chatter; and with exception to one or two of the “bad apples,” I want to know more about each of the inhabitants (Anna is already being given voice in the sequel).

The characters are empathetic but we aren’t given much room for Rourke and Cara to develop a “solid” relationship, something that doesn’t take away from the story. It’s one that is a touching and a sweet example of God’s grace. Through Cara, Rourke remembers what it means to forgive and in healing, he finds love.

IN CONCLUSION: Sometimes a bit slow-moving, No Safe Harbor is nevertheless a wonderful, exciting, and poignant story.

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Elizabeth Ludwig
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Edge of Freedom, Book 1
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Rating: 4 out of 5 

With thanks to Litfuse and the publisher, Bethany House for providing a copy of this book for reviewing purposes

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Rosie November 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Glad you liked this one too, Rissi! I agree with you, the novel had a very "dark" tone to it.

    • Rissi November 29, 2012 at 8:32 PM

      Compared to most novels I read, this one was "dark," Rosie but I wound up really enjoying it. (I tend to like happy-go-lucky novels. :D) Already cannot wait to read the second book!

    • Rosie November 29, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      I kind of like both. lol I can't wait for the next one either!

    • Rissi November 30, 2012 at 4:14 AM

      Depending on the book/author, Rosie so do I. :D

  • Charity U December 31, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit! I was glad to have discovered a new author (and series) to love. :)

    • Rissi December 31, 2012 at 4:55 AM

      So am I, Charity. This is certainly an author I am anxious to read more from – and I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2!

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