Wednesday, December 4, 2013

HFVBT: Review of A Newfound Land by Anna Belfrage

A Newfound Land

by Anna Belfrage

Publication: November 1, 2013
Matador Publishing
Paperback; 402p
ISBN: 978-1781321355

It’s 1672, and Matthew Graham and his family have left Scotland. Having taken the drastic decision to leave their homeland due to religious conflicts, Alexandra and Matthew hope for a simpler, if harsher, life in the wilds of the Colony of Maryland.

Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as you want them to, and the past has a nasty tendency to resurface at the most inappropriate moments. Both Matthew and Alex are forced to cope with the unexpected reappearance of people they had never thought to meet again, and the screw is turned that much tighter when the four rogue Burley brothers enter their lives.

Matters are further complicated by the strained relations between colonists and the Susquehannock Indians. When Matthew intercedes to stop the Burleys from abducting Indian women into slavery he makes lifelong – and deadly – enemies of them all.

Once again Alex is plunged into an existence where death seems to threaten her man wherever he goes.

Will Matthew see himself – and his family – safe in these new circumstances? And will the past finally be laid to rest?

A Newfound Land is the fourth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

About the Author

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website.  You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

My thoughts

I discovered Anna Belfrage with the third novel in this series, The Prodigal Son.  First let me say it certainly stood on its own and I enjoyed it immensely.  It did leaving me wanting more and fortunately Belfrage delivered, with her fourth installment to the series, A Newfound Land

One of the strengths of the series and of each title standing alone is Belfrage's examination of different historical subjects within each.  A Newfound Land has as its backdrop the British colonies of the America's and with it the slave trade, race relations within the colonies as well as the practice of slavery itself.  At first I sort of bristled at the thought of the typical non-American judgment leveled at the colonies, particularly the South, for the ownership of other men, women and children.  It was wrong without question, but the sin of slavery itself stains more than just the hands of American colonists.  I expected the usual treatment of slavery and as a result the same of Americans ourselves.

What must be commended of Belfrage is that she does not sugar coat history nor does she skirt around its more unpleasant eras.  Rather, she jumps right in to the deep end of the issue and her reader therefore must swim with her or sink.  I think FAR more often than not they swim.  Not only is she able to face the historical fact straight on Belfrage combines her forthrightness in the development of the characters that populate her novel.  Each has his or her own very individual motivations and personality and Belfrage is able to maintain each character through to the last. 

Belfrage, in this reader's opinion, has happened upon a series that could truly last her writing life, should she choose for it to do so.  As each book is set within a historical era and the characters deal with the issues they are confronted with they do so as a family and in essence it is the family that is at the core of A Newfound Land as with the other titles in the series. 

The matriarch, Alexandra Lind, as time traveler and her seventh century husband Matthew Graham might live an exciting life but it is not without pain and loss.  For me, I found their union comforting as they weathered whatever life brought them as a partnership and must admit I had such faith in their unique, never perfect, bond. 

A Newfound Land will surprise you by taking you unaware and pulling you into its pages and by the time the cover closes you will find yourself an Anna Belfrage fan for life.  Now, back to wondering where she will take us next. 

Please come back to The Most Happy Reader tomorrow for an interview with Anna as well as a chance to win a copy of The Newfound Land for yourself!!

Twitter Hashtag: #NewfoundLandTour


  1. What a fabulous review! Anna's writing continues to surprise and astound!

  2. Thanks for stopping by I couldn't agree more!


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!!

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