Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund is a historical fiction novel set on historic Mackinac Island, once called Michilimackinac Island. The book takes place in 1814, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812. This location in northern Michigan was strategic in the fur trading industry and the Americans and British fought for control over this region. This novel tells the stories of Angelique MacKenzie and her childhood friend Pierre Durant, a fur trader who has been away from the island for years.
I always like reading historical fiction novels because I enjoy learning more about various time periods in history and these types of books bring pieces of history to life through their stories and characters. It is so interesting to realize how rural this area was during the early 1800's and how difficult it was for the people living there to survive. Angelique has been helping Pierre's mother, who is blind, to stay alive as there is very little food available on the island due to the current conflict. Pierre is a wanderer, content to be away from home, but he is shocked to realize his mother's plight, so chooses to stay home. He and Angelique begin to rekindle their childhood friendship. Angelique is conflicted about this relationship - she is engaged to Pierre's brother and Angelique is struggling with the conditions placed on her by her guardian Ebeneezer Whiley.
Overall, I really liked this book. The characters were well-developed. Each one struggled with the difficulties of living in a rural area defined by war. They truly needed to rely on God to survive this conflict. They had decisions to make regarding truthfulness and their own integrity. The only part of the storyline that I struggled a bit with were some of the way Angelique was treated by Ebeneezer. While it did help to establish how the storyline progressed, it wasn't my favorite part of the plot. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.