Emily Harrison, a passionate anti-slavery advocate, has to give up her passion as a conductor in the Underground Railroad since her parents home went into foreclosure after they died. She now found a position as a governess in slave-holding Virginia. To further add to her distress, attractive, spoiled, yet elusive Gray Wraith lives right under the same roof with his uncle. Fortunately, she's managed to avoid him since he seems preoccupied. But Gray is not who he appears to be; he is on Emily's side as a Quaker leader of the Rebel Partisans. Will they ever trust each other enough to confide their true purpose in life and love?
Average Customer Rating:
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Customer Reviews for Quaker and the Rebel, The - eBook
Oh my word. Never before has a book changed my mind so strongly on any particular subject than “The Quaker and the Rebel”by Mary Ellis!
What a story!
I have never been a fan of war romances… WWII, WWI or Civil war – but here I sit, a converted FAN! And I can not wait until the next book.
This book will make you laugh, make you cry and it will give you an entirely new outlook on the Civil war era!
Reading about the outcome of so many tragic battles and the stealth need to help abused slaves escape to freedom in a dry history book simply can not give you the same impact as reading about your heroine’s reaction to the horror and danger associated with the very same things.
Mary Ellis gives us all of that - first through the eyes of a staunch Quaker who is disturbed by the Southern lack of understanding as to why owning another human being is wrong, and then through the eyes of a gentile southern gentleman who is trying to do everything he can to help his precious south move into the future with as little bloodshed as possible.
It is an adventure that won’t soon be forgotten and it has given me an entirely new outlook on this portion of our country’s troubled past. I will never look at another Civil War battlefield the same way again, I can assure you!
Not only that… the book is extremely well-written. You can hear the skirts swish, the hooves pound and even feel the pain of corset stays. The experiences are written with such emotion attached, as well as descriptive language. And, while it is not described in the ugliest terms, nothing about the tragedy and hardship about this particular time on our bloody history is glossed over.
Mary Ellis has made a fan out of me - a new reader who is eagerly awaiting her next book and wondering if I dare read anyone else’s books, for fear that they may not be in the same ballpark. I suppose I have no other choice, at least until her next book arrives in stores. I shall have to haunt the local library and find anything else that I can and hope it is equally appealing.
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
I am never disappointed by Mary Ellis. From her Amish fiction all the way to the Civil War, Ellis proves to be an excellent storyteller. This first in the series of Civil War Heroines, Ellis puts a Quaker maid toe to toe with a Rebel and his troop. Widely understood in the deep south and scorned, the underground railroad comes to life as Emily Harrison does what she can to aid slaves into finding their freedom.
Once again, Mary Ellis does an excellent job to weave an informational and intriguing story. - Cindy Sproles, Exec. Editor, ChristianDevotions.us
It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but once I connected with the characters, I enjoyed reading about the escapades of Emily and Alexander as they each did their part to help in the Civil War.
I'm not usually a fan of war era books, no matter the war, but this one was interesting. I don't know much about historical accuracy, but Ms. Ellis did an excellent job of keeping me enthralled in the goings on in the Bennington and Hunt households as they dealt with their heritage and the war the best they could.
***I received this novel from the author/publisher for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.***
SUMMARY: Working as a governess in Virginia at the time of the Civil War, Emily Harrison decides to continue her parents’ work in the Underground Railroad. Her employer’s dashing nephew though has other ideas due to his loyalty to the Confederacy as well as his alias, the Gray Wraith. Will two totally different worlds ever find success and happiness in love, beliefs and life?
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS: I found this book to be very well written, especially within the time period of the Civil War. Mystery, suspense, romance, thievery, faith and cultural beliefs all are a part of this dramatic novel. Mary Ellis did a thorough job of colliding opposite realms in an intriguing style. Through a love of history and involvement in a local historical society and Civil War Roundtable, the author apparently is well educated in the Civil War which shines through in her story. Definitely a series I will continue to read, I look forward to The Lady And The Officer as the next selection.
RATING: 4.5 (out of 5)
*I received a complimentary copy of The Quaker And The Rebel from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*
A young Quaker woman, who is loyal to the Union, becomes a governess with a doctor’s family in Virginia. Despite its dangerous nature, she continues to assist in the escape of slaves. Becoming involved with a man who is secretly a famous Confederate soldier is not in her best interest, but they are drawn to each other anyway. Filled with intrigue, twists around every chapter, and nail-biting tension, ‘The Quaker and the Rebel” is a well-rounded book bound to enthrall. Upon doing some research I found that romantic novels seldom ever include Quakers as subject matter; when reflecting on the many similar books that I had read in the past I was shocked to find that this was indeed the case. Therefore, it was refreshing to read a novel that incorporated the less literary explored life of the average Quaker. You will fall in love with the spunky character of Emily Harrison as well as her dashing Gray Wraith, Alexander Hunt, as they tiptoe across serious political and moral issues, such as slavery, as well as cross enemy lines. I recommend this book to anyone with an appetite for adventure and romance. (rev Jael B.)
Miss Emily Harrison, a Quaker from Ohio, has accepted a role as governess for the slave-owning Bennington family in Virginia in the early months of the Civil War. My first impression of Emily was of a self-righteous, judgemental and naïve young lady, someone who has been raised in an insular anti-slavery environment and who hasn’t yet learned that life isn’t all black and white. I found her to be an unlikeable heroine, and that affected the whole book for me. That’s not just my opinion—Emily’s employer calls her “stubborn, wilful, and opinionated”, and Mr Alexander Wesley Hunt, her love interest, says “things aren’t as simple as your small, narrow mind would like them to be”.
It didn’t help that we didn’t find out Emily’s personal history until well into the story (why was she, as a Northerner, working in the South?). It was also never adequately explained how and why she got involved with the Underground Railroad—I thought this subplot could have had substantial impact, whereas it actually seemed like a contrived way of getting Emily in the right (wrong?) place at the right time.
I understand that she is against slavery from a biblical and ethical viewpoint. But that’s no reason to be rude to a slave who is merely trying to do his job. It’s not as though he chose to be a slave. I found her initial assumption that every black person was a slave annoying, and asking a black man whether he was a slave bordered on insulting, not just to the man she is asking but to his employer (or and owner)—her host. Perhaps it might have come across better if her actions had been balanced against a Christian faith, but they weren’t. While Emily was a Quaker, there was no indication of any personal faith in God—her religion appeared to be little more than a set of rules.
Alex had potential as a character. He is secretly the Gray Wraith (based on a real life character known as the Gray Ghost), stealing supplies from the Union to give to the Confederates. He is attracted to Emily (it seems) for no other reason than she isn’t attracted to him. Unfortunately, this came across as a bit of a cliché, probably because I found Emily so unlikeable (his liking of Emily also made me question his intelligence and discernment).
When it’s good, the writing is as good as anything I’ve read. But then it slips from active scenes into passive telling, backstory and omniscient point of view, which brings the forward pace to a grinding halt, and it then takes an age to get going again. And while both the main characters did change during the five years covered by the book, I felt I was being told they had changed, rather than shown. The Quaker and the Rebel had a promising blurb, but overall, the plot and characters aren’t strong or interesting enough to overlook the faults.
Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Emily Harrison is a Quaker who believes no person should be the property of another. After the death of her parents, she is hired as a governess by Dr. and Mrs. Bennington, a wealthy Virginia family--Confederates. She leaves her Ohio home to live in Virginia where she secretly carries on her parents' work with the Underground Railroad.
Alexander Hunt is the nephew of the Benningtons. Seemingly uninvolved in the war, he is actually a colonel in charge of the rangers who raid Union supplies to help Confederate soldiers. He is, in fact, the notorious Gray Wraith.
Sparks fly when Emily and Alexander meet. Despite their differences, though, an attraction grows. How can two such different people fall in love? Will their love survive the secrets they each harbor? What will happen when the war ends? Will the Gray Wraith be captured? Will Emily hang for treason?
Mary Ellis has woven an intriguing historical story of honor, trust, and love. Readers will care about the characters and feel compelled to continue reading until all the issues are resolved. I highly recommend The Quaker and the Rebel to fans of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance. If you are not a fan of one of these genres, you may just become one! Thanks, Mary, for another great story!
The Quaker and the Rebel is a very enjoyable book. It's entertaining, educational, and well paced. The characters feel very real with their emotions and problems. The hero and heroine both have to wrestle with their roles and beliefs about the Civil War and realize that things aren't always what they appear to be. Mary Elis did a great job with the story plot, conflict, and resolution. Her characters suffered, as real-life people do in war, which I think lends to the credibility of the eventual satisfying ending.
THE QUAKER AND THE REBEL by Mary Ellis, published by Harvest House publishers, is a delightfully different Civil War-era love story—different in that it wasn't the usual conquering-Yankee-officer-falls-for-feisty-Southern-belle story that historical readers saw a lot of decades past. In Ellis's novel, the heroine is a fiery Abolitionist who takes a job in a southern household so she can help slaves find their way to the Underground Railroad and freedom, only to fall in love with a Scarlet Pimpernel-like rebel officer who conducts raids on the Yankees while appearing not to have joined the Cause at all.
I liked that neither the hero, nor the heroine, nor the southern household was stereotypical. Heroine Emily Harrison is not perfect—at the beginning she is haughty and judgmental about slave-owning southerners, and undergoes great character oath as she falls in love with hero Alexander Hunt and learns that all situations are not as cut-and-dried as they may first appear. Her employers have actually already freed most of their slaves, who remain to work for pay. Alexander falls for her because she isn't one of those fawning Southern belles, and she can't help but fall for him because he is gallant, daring and handsome—not at all the lazy, spoiled rich man he first appeared. Alexander and Emily have to experience danger and betrayal before they reach their happily-ever-after.
I love Civil War-era romances, and I'm certainly a fan of this one. I'm hoping this is the first of many from Mary Ellis set in this time period!
This book was provided free for review from the publisher. Laurie Kingery
The premise really drew me in for this book. I mean, really...a conductor in the Underground Railroad falling for a Rebel leader? How intriguing!
A devout Quaker, Emily took the job as governess intending to convince slaves to take the first step towards freedom and views the South as the enemy, especially after her parents were beaten and her fiance killed. Alexander Hunt is the son of a wealthy horse breeder, and as the elusive Gray Wraith, his non-violent band of rangers raids deliveries of medicine, food, and money, which he hands over to the Confederate army.
"If I run into the Gray Wraith, I shall shoot him between the eyes and spare the Union Army the task." ~ Emily
It took awhile for me to understand how Alexander could fall for haughty Emily. But it came to me in a light bulb moment. Emily stood out from the crowd of Southern belles clamoring for Alexander's attention, so different, so willing to risk her life for her anti-slavery beliefs. As the Gray Wraith, they were kindred souls, just on opposite sides of the war.
But during her employment with the Bennington's, Emily discovered that things weren't as she initially believed. The Bennington's and the Hunt's treated their slaves with respect, and had allowed many to buy back their freedom. Alexander even championed their release. They welcomed her into their family, shattering her notion that all slave holders were privileged and shallow, and her opinions, and her attitude, changed over the course of the book.
As an avid romance lover, The Quaker and The Rebel started off a bit slow for me, but I'm so glad I kept reading. What it lacked in actual romantic wooing and sweet words (after all, there was a war going on!), it made up for in depth and character growth. The Quaker and The Rebel transcends romance. It's about the ugly stains of prejudice; it's about how we allow past experiences or other people's opinions to poison our attitudes and control our thoughts. It's about a family and how they accepted Emily and her narrow-minded self into their midst, and then pardoned her sins and showered her with love and grace when she most needed it. Don't pick up The Quaker and The Rebel expecting just a romance. No. Because you'll get a whole lot more.
Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Mary Ellis and Harvest House Publisher for providing me with a copy of The Quaker and The Rebel for review. The opinions expressed here are my own, and I received no compensation.
Good thing we have plenty of left-overs from our recent family holiday meals! I thought that I would "while away" a few stolen moments to read a chapter or two of this new book by Mary Ellis. From the first page, I found myself transported back in time to 1861 and fictionalized accounts of Civil War events. North or South....the divisions were often arbitrary but painful as extended family members found themselves on opposite sides in bloody battles. Behavior and actions were very scripted in those days. It would have taken great courage and conviction to fight what was expected by acting upon ones heart and beliefs that went against the norm. Being branded a traitor/spy could lead to public humiliation and death. Yet the Quakers and many other compassionate people did step forward and the Underground Railroad was formed, successfully assisting slaves to flee the South and garner freedom. I appreciated the several mentions that the trip was neither easy or certain to improve the slaves living circumstances. Although a fictionalized account, this book provides some historically correct details-- of plantation life, soldiering and battle plans, medical care, homes and furnishings, clothing, meals, education, Quaker views and typical communication and travel--in such a way that you feel you get to know the characters and are traveling amongst them in their wagons, on horseback, train or even simply walking along a dusty footpath. I am very impressed at how well the author handled both discussions and individual character's thoughts because they seemed neither stilted nor unfitting for each character's education and station in society. As the main protagonists, Emily and Alexander initially believe that they are on completely opposite sides of the Civil War and slavery issues but in the end they realize not everything is such an absolute certainty when love and God's plans are also mixed in. Four hours later, I am happy to have read this good book and no one has starved thanks to the holiday left-overs!
Emily Harrison is strong-willed and opinionated on topics she knows nothing about. She’s always in a temper, a holier-than-thou Yankee who thinks herself superior to dissipated Southerners. Alexander Hunt clearly sees all that. She’s patently wrong for him. So why can’t he get her out of his every waking thought? From a hardscrabble Ohio farm, Emily takes a position as governess for Margaret and Annie Bennington, Alexander’s cousins in Virginia. When their father sends them to Paris to avoid the war with the North, Emily stays as companion to their mother, Augusta. Her fiancé died in the Battle of Bull Run. There’s no one and nothing for her to go back to in Ohio. When they travel to Hunt Farms, Emily goes to work on the Underground Railroad. She has to lie continually about why she misses meals and is so tired. She feels justified, helping slaves escape from the evil, blackened hearts of the Southerners. And yet she comes to love the Benningtons and the Hunts. They’re good people despite slavery. As for Alexander, well, he’s an arrogant, lazy, rich Southern who must have gotten someone else to do his fighting for the Confederacy. She doesn’t know Alexander is the Gray Wraith, a Southern Robin Hood who’s stealing horses, food, medical supplies, and money from the Union Army. He leads his band with orders there be no killing and no profiteering. Some of the men resent his edict and help themselves to blunder. His second-in-command believes Alexander is blinded by the Yankee “spy” and follows Emily to discover her activities. When Alexander dismisses nine men for an unauthorized raid, one of them reveals his identity to the Union. Both Emily and Alexander are in danger with nooses as their likely fate. Harvest House provided a free copy for the purpose of review; however I was not required to make it positive.
Awesome!!!!!! Mary Ellis definitely has a Great book with "The Quaker and the Rebel". It is different from her Amish novels. This book takes place during the Civil War. She has a real talent just describing the Southern homes and Plantations and the way some of the people had to live, I felt like I was right there with them. The Quaker and the Rebel is a must read, once I started I could not put it down, I even learned a few things about the war. I really think this book could be classified with Gone with the Wind. AWESOME. This book would make a wonderful Christmas present
The Quaker and the Rebel by Mary Ellis is the first book in the Civil War Heroines series. I enjoyed this book, and I loved how the author was able to skip over huge sections of time without losing the continuity of the story. She spanned four years in a single book! Pretty impressive. How Emily grows, changes, and matures is one of the best parts of the story. She realizes life isn't as easy to figure out as she thought, and Alexander becomes more firm in his faith.
Emily Harrison, a Quaker, moves from the free state of Ohio to Virginia. Surrounded by excess and the abominable institution of slavery, Emily starts working in the Underground Railroad while working for her Southern employers. But when she meets her employer's nephew, she finds herself confused and torn. How could a slaveholder be so fascinating to her?
Alexander is more than he seems. He serves the Confederacy without his family's knowledge and is known as the Grey Wraith to the Union. He somehow manages to steal supplies and money from the Union soldiers without using weapons or harming anyone. When Alexander meets Emily, he finds himself drawn to her honesty, forthrightness, and her faith. As he begins to question is family's part in slavery, he finds himself falling in love with Emily.
I really enjoyed this story especially how the two main characters grow and change with not only their maturity but their faith in God. I kept wondering how these two very different people would ever be able to get together. Actually, one of the best parts of the book was the banter between Alexander and Emily!
I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
In the first of her series of Civil War Heroines, Mary Ellis pits an abolitionist Quaker maid against a Rebel leader of a band of rangers. Having no family left, Emily Harrison agrees to be a governess in the Bennington household in Virginia, making it clear that her Quaker convictions cannot abide slavery. When her charges are sent to Europe for safety, Emily stays on as a companion to the lady of house so that she can aid slaves through the underground railroad. Alexander Hunt, nephew of Mrs. Bennington, has fallen far from the Quaker ideals his mother imparted in his youth, though he refuses to harm or kill in his role as the Grey Wraith, the leader of a band of rangers who plague the Union by stealing their goods. In spite of strongly differing opinions with Emily and the danger he flirts with in pursuing a Yankee, he finds himself falling for her. Can two people so firmly on opposite sides of the war fall in love without compromising their convictions?
For a Quaker, a person of peace and simplicity, Emily is extremely strong-minded, apt to lose her temper, and tempted toward vanities - she likes pretty dresses, a touch of make-up, and a bit of male attention. She is quick to judge the Benningtons and Hunts as evil for keeping slaves, even under much fairer and more positive conditions than much of the South, yet she promptly lies to them and uses them to further her own ends, not to mention judges them (and does so unfairly). Given her tendency toward bigotry, an apt verse for her would be, "How can you say to your brother, 'let me remove the speck from your eye,' and look, a plank is in your own? Hypocrite! Remove first the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matt 7:4-5). She has far to go to realize the kindness and goodness in her employers and their family.
Given that Emily and Alexander are firmly planted on opposite sides of the war, I could not anticipate how they were going to compromise enough develop a relationship in the first place, let alone forge one strong enough to survive the war. Both Emily and Alexander are stiff with pride; she is strongly prejudiced against the South and he against the North, and though they both agree that slavery is wrong, they disagree on how to abolish it. However, they both grow - Emily out of her bigoted idealism, and Alexander out of the dissipated lifestyle into which he had fallen.
The story grew on me. At first I was frustrated with both of the main characters - Emily especially - but as the plot increases in danger and excitement and they learn to set aside their prejudices, they improve remarkably. Since neither the North nor the South embodies "good" or "evil," and since neither character is secretly working on the same side as the other, I could not anticipate what the outcome of the story would be, other than supposing that the two would find a way to compromise and fall in love and knowing that the Union would ultimately win. Would Alexander abandon his role as the Grey Wraith to be with Emily? Would he join Emily in helping slaves to freedom? Would Emily get herself caught while freeing slaves? Would battle catch up with them and strike them with the deaths of friends and family? It is nice to read a novel in which the plot could go so many different ways that one cannot expect what is to come. 4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you Harvest House and Netgalley for providing a free, advance e-copy for the purpose of review. I was not required to make it positive; all opinions expressed are my own.