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The Rebellion of Jane Clarke ~ Sally Gunning

May 9, 2011


Genre: Adult Historical fiction
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
304 pages
ISNB: 9780061782152
Source: Publisher via TLC Booktours


Jane Clarke’s father lives in the lush countryside of Cape Cod. Removed from city life, he is free to run his own opinions about marriage and politics, which, at the moment are for the king when most of his new-found countrymen are for, well, the new country.  He also sees fit to match his eldest and favorite daughter, Jane, up with one of his lackluster business partners who Jane hardly knows. After deciding that she needs more out of life and love than simple arrangements to near strangers, Jane and her father call it quits, causing a ripple in her family pool that washes her all the way to far away Boston to stay with aging Aunt Gill.

Excited more than terrified to be alone in this brand new city at such a pivotal time, Jane soaks it all in. She clings to her brother and Grandfather, who are about as ready to be rid of the crown as any.

She soon finds, though, that, as in any war, things are two-sided. After a small scuffle, she realizes that there may be more to the rumors she was hearing, down the cape, about how real or unreal the violence in the city has become. Unable to stand by and watch injustice, Jane suddenly finds herself estranged and warring with the only family she has in the city.

As real violence erupts (anyone remember the Boston Massacre?) and loyalties shift and change, Jane finds her self in awash in a type of midwifery that country life never prepared her for. She is, in fact, about to witness the birth of a new country, like it or not.

Knee deep in personal and political drama Gunning has crafted such a fun war story that I had to keep reminding myself that this was not actually supposed to be a great time in our country’s history. The personal tidbits of Jane’s inner thoughts keep this story going through a very conflicted and dark period of my home town. It was interesting to see Boston in such turmoil and upheaval, and of course, occupied by “lobster backs”. I appreciated the way that Gunning put all sides in at least similar light  rather than washing one good and one evil. I am finding, lately with most war stories, that this tends to be the case when written in fiction. Whether that holds true or held true in the real conflicts, I can’t say, but it’s a nice thought for the bookshelves.

Chalk full of history and hysterics, this is certainly a historical fiction lover’s dream. The tie between past and present emotion on conflict is strong and one I appreciated as a political science major, constantly comparing the then and now.


About Sally Gunning

Sally Gunning is the author of two previous novels, The Widow’s War and Bound. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband.

Find out more about Sally at her website, and add her as a friend on Facebook.

Sally’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, April 26th: The Lost Entwife

Wednesday, April 27th: Bookworm’s Dinner

Thursday, April 28th: Book Reviews by Molly

Monday, May 2nd: The Road to Here

Tuesday, May 3rd: Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, May 4th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Friday, May 6th: Rundpinne

Monday, May 9th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog

Wednesday, May 11th: Books Like Breathing

Thursday, May 12th: nomadreader

Thursday, May 19th: Life In Review

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2011 10:32 am

    Lately I have been reading a lot of reviews of this book, and I think it sounds rather interesting. I love a good historical fiction novel, and this one seems to have all the components of a really good read. Thanks for your excellent review on this book. I am adding it to my wish list right now!

  2. May 10, 2011 11:22 pm

    I like your comment about your political science major influencing the way you viewed aspects of this book – I love seeing how each individual reader is affected by their own life experiences when they read.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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