HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Ransomed Heart
Author: Sara Mitchell
Cover Illustrator: Joe Nordstrom
Publisher: Bethany House Pub., 1999
ISBN-13: 978-0786222292 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0786222298 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1556614996 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1556614993 Paperback
Related website(s): http://www.bethanyhouse.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Mitchell, Sara. Ransomed Heart (Published in 1999 by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Bethany Fellowship International, 11400 Hampshire Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55438). It is1896, and Rosalind Hayes lives in Denver, CO, with her father Edward, who is wealthy but an invalid due to a stroke, and mother Ophelia. Her younger brother Isaac has run away from, and she is trying to search for him. An international jewel thief known only as the Catbird breaks into the lavish Denver mansion of Rosalind’s older brother Charles during a reception for a British earl. This daring robbery is accidentally interrupted by Rosalind, who becomes the only living person able to recognize him. Rosalind, however, is more interested in finding her missing brother than worrying over possible danger from the Catbird.
However, Rosalind’s life is threatened, so she reluctantly joins forces with Adam Moreaux, a handsome Pinkerton operative who has been chasing the Catbird for years. Together they discover that both her brother and the Catbird have unwittingly become linked by the disappearance of the Petrovna parue, a famous setting of Russian jewels. Rosalind’s pursuit leads her and Moreaux into a dangerous situation. Will she ever find her brother? Or does the Catbird get to her first? And what kind of relationship develops between Rosalind and Adam, in spite of the fact that they are complete opposites? This Five Star Standard Print Christian Fiction book is number 3 of 3 in author Sara Mitchell’s “Shadow Catchers Series,” a unique Victorian historical suspense series that features operatives of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency as the main characters.
Mitchell is recognized for the authenticity of her settings and exhaustive historical research to portray real-life characters with whom the reader can identify while depicting the struggle between the challenges of everyday life and the values to which God would have us aspire with understanding and sensitivity. At first, the storylines in Ransomed Heart seem rather random and divergent, but as the plot develops, they are eventually brought together plausibly. Small details about the countryside, the various secondary characters, and the brief political and societal references round out the narrative, which moves quickly between various points of view and locales. The suspense of this romantic novel will appeal to both young and old, male as well as female.