Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
320 pages
Jul 2005

Native Son

by J.M. Hochstetler

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Native Son, the second book of The American Patriot Series by J.M. Hochstetler, continues the saga of Brigadier General Jonathan Carleton and the woman who has stolen his heart, Elizabeth Howard. Each has pledged allegiance to General George Washington. Elizabethís spy mission sends her gathering information among the Loyalists, while Jonathanís orders send him deep into Indian territory. When Elizabeth learns Jonathan has been captured by the Indians, she tries desperately to gain information about the man she loves. Unable to learn of Jonathanís fate, she is forced to continue life with the uncertainty of whether or not he yet lives. Jonathanís life changes drastically when he becomes a slave to the tribe that captured him. He must make decisions that put him in battle against the people to whom he has pledged his allegiance.

Hochstetler examines a little-known aspect of the Revolution by following the hero Jon to the West. People think of the Revolution being fought in Boston and along the East Coast, but there was trouble in the West, too, with the English, the Indians, and the settlers. Hochstetler lets us see that part of the war through Jonís eyes. Again the reader finds the war-tossed couple, Brigadier General Jonathon Carleton and spy Elizabeth Howard, separated by choice for the good of the new country and your heart breaks at the sacrifices these two make for the ultimate good of many. After Jonathon is sent to Indian territory, Elizabeth ends up in Boston. With wars of all levels--spiritual, emotional, and physical-- pressing on them, we feel the anguish they must endure. Rumors circulate and both characters must pretend they care nothing for the other. The story is set in 1775, and the reader is immediately folded into the setting, riding along enjoying every bump and bruise. Even when Carleton is captured, the reader hopes all will be well, although chances are pretty much against that.

Elizabeth and Jonathan, the star crossed lovers in the previous book Daughter of Liberty, have the perfect conflict: the American patriot and the British officer. Now they are being kept apart as Elizabeth is pressed back into service as a spy for General Washington. Elizabeth is the perfect society lady, listening in on secrets in Boston, occupied by the British. Her hair-raising exploits sneaking secrets past the ruthless British blockade are the best part of the book. Jonathan, who has a price on his head, can trust no one. He goes West where he was reared and meets the IndiansĖ not all of them friendlyĖ he knew as a child. So wedding plans are put aside while each sets out to carry out the mission Washington has assigned them. As the months pass in silence, Beth wonders if he is even alive. Should she begin to consider a life without him? And as Jonathan is taken farther and farther away from Beth, he fears he will never see her again. How can he go back to her while the war still rages? The British want him dead, and his new life with the Indians has even made him an enemy of his own countrymen. Is their Christian faith and trust in God strong enough to see them through?

Native Son is an intensely moving story, impeccably researched and excellently written. It is an intricate look into some aspects of the birth of our nation, and the struggles and temptations faced by two unforgettable characters. J. M. Hochstetler expertly weaves a tale of historical fiction with a romance that must survive the trials and dangers of the times. Outstanding! -- Erika Osborn, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Jonathan Carleton has pledged his allegiance to General George Washington, and his heart to the fiery Elizabeth Howard. As the beautiful daughter of Loyalists, she deftly moves among British officers by day and elusively slips across the countryside to give their secrets to the Sons of Liberty by night. Clever deception may be her stock-in-tradeóbut the charming blond-haired Jonathan knows the deepest secrets of Elizabethís heart.

When General Washington arrives in Cambridge to take command of the American forces, he orders Carleton to undertake a perilous journey deep into Indian territory, and requests that Elizabeth stay behind to continue her work as a spy. As Elizabeth gains further entrťe into Loyalist circles and access to the intelligence Washington desperately needs, she receives news that Carleton has been captured by the Indians and his fate uncertain. The British begin receiving reports that a blond-haired warrior is leading Shawnee raids against their outposts on the frontier as British general William Howe unleashes an overwhelming invasion force against New York.