Tuesday 5 April 2022

In Pieces - Rhonda Ortiz - Molly Chase Book 1

In Pieces 
Molly Chase Book 1
ISBN 9781941720431
eISBN 9781941720448

Before I was a third of the way through this volume I almost put it down and added it to my ‘did not finish’ pile. However several authors and other readers I respect has spoken so highly about the book that I kept going. If I drop a book it is normally by the 25-30% mark. Normally I knock out a novel ever day or 2, this one took me over a week to finish. This one I decided to extend that normal ranger to 50, and I am very thankful that I did. This story historical fiction that is an interesting mix of action, mystery, and of romance. For me the story did start slow, but once I was hooked it was completely. The description of this book is:

“BOSTON, 1793—Beautiful and artistic, the only daughter of a prominent merchant, Molly Chase cannot help but attract the notice of Federalist Boston—especially its men. But she carries a painful secret: her father committed suicide and she found his body. Now nightmares plague her day and night, addling her mind and rendering her senseless. Molly needs a home, a nurse, and time to grieve and to find new purpose in life. But when she moves in with her friends, the Robbs, spiteful society gossips assume the worst. And when an imprudent decision leads to public scandal, Molly is tempted to take the easy way out: a marriage of convenience.

Merchant sailor Josiah Robb is as familiar to Molly as a brother—as dear and as exasperating. Yet she is no sister to him. He hopes to marry her before anyone else does, but sailing the high seas leaves no time for convincing Molly that he is more than her teasing childhood friend. Josiah wants a new job and a fresh start, and when he agrees to carry a confidential letter to President Washington, his life is forever changed.

In the wake of tragedy, these longtime friends discover a new intimacy. But slander, confusion, absence, and a wealthy, conniving bully stand between them. And with French spies on the loose, they not only have to rescue their reputations—they have to protect their lives.”

I struggled with the character of Josiah Robb, he seems so determined and straightforward in all manners except for with Molly. And with Molly he is so wishy washy at the beginning and allows himself to be completely overruled by his mother in regards to her. Molly has flashes of strength, growing maturity and sensibility. But is also a bit of a wreck and is overwhelmed easily. 

I had figured out much of the story line. And in fact expected a revelation about the death of Molly’s father, but who knows maybe in the next volume. The story has a lot going on, spies, intrigue, the French trying to pull the US into their war. A meeting with the president, leaders in the government and a job offer out of the blue. When you and a mix of responsibilities around faith, family, friends, and duty.  

I loved some of the secondary characters; Laurent, Eliza, Melvill, and Filippo. From the strength of those characters alone I would pick up the next volume to see where the story goes. I am thankful I stuck it out. And I appreciated the story greatly by the end. It was well worth picking up.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Rhonda Ortiz:
The Virtuous Jane Austen: Short Reflections on Character

Molly Chase Series:

Contributed to:
The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections

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