By Sandra Fox Murphy
In seventeenth-century Rhode Island, Ann Tallman, wife of Peter, is charged with adultery after finding love and refuge with the man whose kindness captured her heart. Ann’s story begins in Barbados where she meets the dashing merchant Captain Peter Tallman. After they settle in Rhode Island, after six children, after years of Peter’s absences, abuse, and jealousies, it was Thomas, the English indentured servant, who won Ann’s heart. Refusing to leave behind her children, her choice was abruptly taken from her hands with Peter’s request for divorce and the court’s sentence of lashings in Portsmouth and Newport. After an escape to Jamestown in the Virginia colony, Ann is eventually drawn back to Rhode Island, to her beloved, to her children, and to her punishment. Will she be welcome among her peers or will she be but an outcast. Will her children forgive her? Readers will love this story for its historical color and reflection of the sacrifices of New England’s early settlers. This is a story of atonement, of courage, forgiveness and grace in deeply judgmental colonial America.