Answering Liberty’s Call by Tracy Lawson
Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
In 1778, war is men’s business. That doesn’t stop Anna Stone from getting involved in the fight. As the wife of a preacher-turned-soldier, a healer, and mother of three, Anna knows her place in this world. She tends to things at home while her husband and brothers fight for liberty. But when her loved ones face starvation at Valley Forge, she refuses to sit idly by. Armed with life-sustaining supplies, Anna strikes out alone on horseback over 200 miles of rough and dangerous terrain. Despite perilous setbacks along the way, sheer determination carries her toward her destination. When she learns of a plot to overthrow General Washington, her mission becomes more important than ever. With the fate of the American Revolution in her hands and one of the conspirators hot on her trail, Anna races to deliver a message of warning to Valley Forge before it’s too late. Based on events in the life of the author’s sixth-great-grandmother.
The best spies and couriers are those that are invisible or fade into the background. Women during the Revolutionary War were almost invisible and considered only good for cooking, cleaning, and childbearing. It is almost unheard of to have a woman leaving her home, let alone ride hundreds of miles to deliver messages to the patriotic armies.
The nearly criminal ineptitude of those individuals tasked with supplying arms and foodstuffs to our troops is unbelievable. Congress and others tasked with supporting the army were, at times, grossly and criminally negligent in the prosecution of their duties. Wagons full of clothing, munitions, and food stuffs were often abandoned along the road or kept in warehouses without a thought to distribution. Men starving at Valley Forge without proper food or clothing were enduring this due to the quartermaster’s inefficiency and neglect.
Her husband and some of Anna’s brothers were in Valley Forge where they were wounded or killed. Anna cannot stand by and watch the carnage continue. Benjamin Harrison asks her to take an encoded message to General Washington in Valley Forge. She leaves her children with family and sets out on the journey from Virginia to Valley Forge in Pennsylvania.
Both Tories and Loyalists are against the Revolution and are supporting King George the Third and his armies. General Gates is openly opposing General Washington. Congress barely voted to have Washington be the Commander in Chief and Gates feels he is more qualified. Since many military commissions were bought rather than earned, the conflict was ever present. Meanwhile, Washington had proved himself with a successful career in the French/Indian War among other conflicts. Anna is ruthlessly pursued by the enemy throughout her ride.
The exploits of Benedict Arnold are well known but Anna Stones’ contributions were nearly lost to history. Thanks to Ms. Lawson for the extensive research and tenacious enthusiasm for the truth. Anyone who enjoys and embraces history will find this book engaging and entertaining as well as informed. 5 stars – CE Williams
We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions and we are looking forward to Book 2.
Genre: Military Historical Fiction, War Fiction, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gray Lion Books
Print Length: 340 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Answering Liberty’s Call [Amazon]
The Author: Once upon a time, Tracy Lawson was a little girl with a big imagination who was obsessed with telling stories. Her interests in dance, theatre, and other forms of make-believe led to a twenty-five-year career in the performing arts, where “work” means she gets to do things like tap dance and choreograph musicals.
Though teaching dance and choreographing shows was a great outlet for her creativity and boundless energy, Tracy never lost her desire to write. Faced with her only child leaving for college and her husband’s simultaneous cross-country job relocation, it seemed she’d found the perfect time to switch her focus.
[truncated—please read her author’s page to read her full bio.]
Her two most recent works are historical fiction. The main character in The Red Thread (2021) co-authored with Rebekah Pace, is a Holocaust survivor who, after living an unfulfilled life, reconnects with his lost sweetheart in dreams, becomes convinced she is alive–and sets out on an epic journey to find her.
Answering Liberty’s Call (2021) set during the winter of 1778, is based on events in the lives of Tracy’s 6x great grandparents. When Anna Stone hears of the privations at Valley Forge that threaten her soldier husband and brothers, she sets out alone on horseback with supplies. Along the way, she is swept up in the events of a conspiracy to remove General Washington from the commander in chief post, and risks her life to carry a message warning the general of the plot.
Tracy, who is married with one grown daughter and two spoiled cats, splits her time between Dallas, Texas and Columbus, Ohio.
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams