Historical Novels: Thief of Souls by Ann Benson

An admirer of Ann Benson’s meticulously researched work, I became hooked on Thief of Souls from the very first page, which is unusual for me.  The plot shnifts rapidly between two parallel stories, each of which traverses rocky ethical, legal, and moral terrain. The heroines are two intensely humanistic women whose lives vary greatly, but who share the characteristic of willingness to sacrifice self-interest for the greater good of the communities in which they work and live. It is difficult to decide which story is the more compelling, and at the end of each chapter, I had to wrench my interest away from the one conflict in order to focus again on the other. In this “all about me” era, it is refreshing and heartening to immerse oneself in a tale of selflessness, dogged determination, and devotion to the good of others

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