Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull

Tags: YA, historical fiction, persecution, religion

England, 1662, at the beginning of the Quaker prosecution. 15-year-old Susanna Thorn decides she’s old enough to get a job in town in order to support her Quaker family. 17-year-old William has just returned from Oxford, and his rags-to-riches father is encouraging him to be apprenticed to a good connection in London. Their paths cross accidentally one day in the middle of the road, and their lives are changed forever.

William finds himself inexplicably drawn to Susanna and her Quaker tradition. He begins to attend these illegal Quaker gatherings with the full knowledge that if his father finds out he will have a heart attack and probably disown his only son. Meanwhile, the persecution of the Quakers is hitting Susanna hard, hurting those she loves, and she fears for her beloved William’s life.

William and Susanna’s relationship is a love that by all means should not occur, and yet with true love, they just might be able to make it out alright. Their story is sweet, if a little typical of a teen romance, and full of the tense detail of excellent historical fiction. Ann Turnbull paints a good picture of the trouble that comes with persecution and misunderstandings, but leaves us with hope, that love will conquer all. Anyone who likes historical fiction and a good love story should read this book.

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Cover discussion: 2.5 out of 5 - She's a pretty girl, but what does that have to do with the story? I do like the title treatment though, the use of the calligraphic font on a parchment-like background.


  1. Love the way they did the title one the cover!

  2. Actually, I really like the cover. Her face's soft focus and the simple style seems to fit with the Quaker theme.

  3. Sounds like an interesting and sweet read.

  4. Definitely adding it to my to-read list. Thanks for the review!

  5. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review! (oh, and I'm not overly keen on the cover!)

  6. Hmm, this one sounds interesting. It's a topic I don't know much about, which is always cool.


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