Anaya races toward the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Patriots’ Day in 2013, but she will never reach that broad painted line. The Boston Marathon bombing will interrupt not only the race, but also her life. As she lays crumpled on the pavement uncertain of her life, a stranger in a Red Sox sweatshirt appears and lifts her up and carries her away to the EMT and waiting ambulance. In her fear and uncertainty, she clings to this stranger, a hero to her, and pleads with him not to leave.
As she clutches the hand of the stranger, he presses an object into the palm of her hand after assuring her that she will be okay. He tells her he will find her again just before he leaves.
When she later wakes up in her hospital bed trying to sort out all that has happened to her, she loosens her hand and sees the object. It is a gold signet ring with unique symbols and a Latin inscription. As she fades in and out of consciousness and begins to learn of her injuries as well as the long healing journey ahead, the ring becomes more precious to her, gives her hope, and creates a desire to meet the stranger in the Red Sox sweatshirt.
This insightfully written time slip novel, Freedom’s Ring, by Heidi Chiavaroli, will quickly capture your attention as you journey into Anaya’s journey toward wholeness. She wrestles with God not only about her injuries, but also about her broken relationship with her sister and her family who had been waiting for her at the finish line.
As she hopes for the stranger with the Red Sox sweatshirt to return so she can return the ring, her curiosity about it and him grows. It will be two years later until she discovers a business card with a picture of the ring tucked into her sister’s Bible.
Another journey begins when Anaya contacts the man whose name is on the card. After meeting him, he encourages her to keep the ring even though it is a family heirloom passed down to him from generations before. She agrees to keep it while they hunt for the scraps of information they hope will lead them to the story of this unique ring.
As they begin to put the puzzle pieces together, they discover the pieces lead back in time to the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770, and another young woman, Liberty Caldwell. Liberty has also known hardship and tragedy and wrestled with God.
As chapters shift from dusty libraries of the present day to that fateful day in history in 1770, the reader gets glimpses of history as well as the struggles of faith and freedom in both Anaya and Liberty’s lives.
The author unfolds this complex story of two women and those they loved. Woven into the story are the struggles of both characters to deal with the weakness, doubt, and failures that haunt them. Each woman must come to grips with the truth of her story and discover a power stronger than she is.
I was drawn into the story within the first few paragraphs of this book. As each part of the story intertwined, it revealed the tragedy of brokenness and led me to the only source for true healing, assurance, and peace.
Although this is Heidi Chiavaroli’s first novel, I doubt it will be her last. I’m eager to recommend this book as one that should be on your reading list, but I warn you that when you open the first few pages you won’t want to put it down. It goes on sale August 8, 2017.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.