The Quaker and The Rebel by Mary Ellis~My Review

The Quaker and the Rebel
Purchase Link~Deeper Shopping
About the book~
Emily Harrison’s life has been turned upside down. At the beginning of the Civil War, she bravely attempted to continue her parents’ work as conductors in the Underground Railroad until their Ohio farm was sold in foreclosure. Now alone, she accepts a position as a governess with a doctor’s family in slave-holding Virginia. Perhaps she can continue her rescue efforts from there.

Alexander Hunt is the doctor’s handsome nephew. While he does not deny a growing attraction to his uncle’s newest employee, he cannot take time to pursue Emily. Alex is not at all what he seems–rich, spoiled, and indolent. He is the elusive Gray Wraith, a Quaker leader of Rebel partisans. A man of the shadows, he carries no firearm and wholeheartedly believes in Emily’s antislavery convictions.

The path before Alex and Emily is complicated and sometimes life threatening. The war brings betrayal, entrapment, and danger to both of them. Amid their growing feelings for each other, can they find faith in God amid the challenges they face and trust in the possibility for a bright future together? 

Sharing My Review~
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. 

Grumbling or Grace?

Have you read the story of how God rescued the Israelites from their heavy yoke of slavery? How God called out to Moses from a burning bush, informing Moses that he would be the one to deliver the Israelites from Egypt? It was only after God sent plague after vicious plague, ending with the death of Pharaoh’s first-born, that Pharaoh relinquished and released the Israelites.

God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, guiding them by cloud during the day and fire by night. Pharaoh changed his mind (actually, God changed it for him!) and pursued the Israelites, finding them camped out by the Red Sea.  

“It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert.” (Ex 14:12 NIV).

Can you just picture them? The water from the sea licking their backs, the approaching Egyptians armed for battle? Scared for their lives, yet that’s what spews from their lips? Complaints??
It’s beyond me. 

Yet, God rescues them again. With a mighty wind, He pushed back the waters so that the Israelites crossed over on dry land, a wall of water on both sides. When the Egyptians followed them into the sea, the water fell back and crushed them.

The Israelites went on their merry way, praising and fearing God. 

For three days anyway.

When they didn’t find water, they grumbled. God provided water. For lack of meat, they grumbled. God sent manna and quail.

What was wrong with these people? How could they complain? They witnessed God’s miracles firsthand every day. Miracles like the parting of the Red Sea. Water from a rock. Just enough manna to provide for their daily needs. 

I’m quick to point my finger and say I would never do that.


I’m hanging my head right now because just like these Israelites, I witness God’s miracles every day. Miracles in the form of a loving and supportive hubby, an income, a beautiful home, a family we cherish.

Yet what spews from my mouth? Complaints.

We arrived home from Denver late yesterday. Usually Hubby’s pretty good about helping me unload the suitcases. Not last night. He toted them upstairs, left the packed bags in the bedroom, then planted his tush on the recliner in front of a blaring television.

I fumed. I huffed. Resentment broiled.

Then, God convicted my lousy little heart this morning with this story from Exodus.

How many blessings does my husband pour out for me everyday? He uses his vacation time to attend book signings with me. He brainstorms blog posts and story lines with me. He encourages me to adjust my schedule so he can help with chores like lawn care and groceries, so that I can devote more time to writing. And techie issues? He’s my man! He’s my biggest fan, my loudest encourager, my best friend. 

Yet I complain.

Forgive me, God, for complaining. Change my heart.
Help me reflect grace, not grumbling. 
Thank You for the wonderful man you planted beside me! Thank You that he never grumbles or complains.
What about you? What’s in your heart today?
Grumbling or Grace?