In 1760, Deborah Samson is born to Puritan parents in Plympton, Massachusetts. When her father abandons the family and her mother is unable to support them, Deborah is bound out as an indentured servant. From that moment on, she yearns for a life of liberation and adventure.
Twenty years later, as the American colonies begin to buckle in their battle for independence, Deborah, impassioned by the cause, disguises herself as a soldier and enlists in the Continental Army. Her impressive height and lanky build make her transformation a convincing one, and it isn’t long before she finds herself confronting the horrors of war head-on.
But as Deborah fights for her country’s freedom, she must contend with the secret of who she is—and, ultimately, a surprising love she can’t deny.
A Girl Called Samson (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible) (AbeBooks Used Books)
I’ve had great success with the Amazon First Reads program offered through my Prime membership. Each month there are 8 choices of books across many genres, and Prime members can select one book to read a month before the book is released to the general public. This was my choice for March 2023.
This is my first Amy Harmon book, but it definitely won’t be my last. She certainly knows how to weave a tale that grabs the reader and takes them on a ride.
Deborah Samson was a real-life person who fought as a man in the Revolutionary War and later went on a speaking circuit to tell her story. The story Harmon tells starts when Samson is a child, sent off to become an indentured servant to a household with 10 boys. (Oye! That poor mother), and leads up to her choice to run away and join the Continental Army. You can just tell by the writing that this book was so well-researched, such care was taken to tell Deborah’s story.
Life as a Continental soldier was hard, made especially harder when you’re a woman trying to hide one’s body during bathroom breaks, having her menses, and living with only men for several years. Although I’ve read a lot about the Revolutionary War, I feel like I learned a new layer of history when reading Deborah’s story and the deprivations the soldiers experienced throughout the war. Samson joins the army towards the end, around the time of Yorktown, the last major battle, but fighting continued for two more years.
Deborah gets injured, as does her general, and is found out. The situation and the solution are the only time I had to suspend disbelief. There’s a romance thrown in at the end of the book, which I wasn’t expecting, but could see coming. It didn’t detract from the story, but I wasn’t expecting romance after all the grit and grime of the war.
I’m glad I got to read Amy Harmon’s latest book, and look forward to other titles in her catalog. Highly recommend!
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