Genre

Historical Fiction / Romance

Audience

Adult

Author’s Worldview

Catholic

Year Published

2021

Themes

faith, love, theology of the body, friendship, gossip, conversion, intrigue, politics, suicide, grief, family, slavery, American history, post-Revolutionary War

 

Reviewed by

Lisa Theus

Life isn’t easy in post-Revolutionary Boston for a single woman. Orphaned after the death of her father, Molly Chase struggles to find her way while overcome with grief. She is blessed when the Robbs, family friends and former servants, open their own home to her, but it sets into motion a series of misunderstandings. Everyone notices how handsome and eligible Josiah Robb is—everyone except Molly, until she’s forced to face rumors of impropriety. 

How can a girl in this age quell the rumors and remain friends with her best friend, who is, of course, in love with her? 

The plot sounds simple in summary, but the book is a rich presentation of an engaging cast, each with their own struggles and themes. It’s set mostly in the lively port town of Boston with a cast of characters who hope that brewing European conflict doesn’t ruin their new lives and country. In Pieces shows both ‘slice of life’ interactions and larger political intrigue. 

Molly has to struggle with the grief of losing her parents; the rumors about her virtue; and the decision of whether to earn her own living or to go hunting for a husband. Her best friend and main love interest has his own journey, in addition to whether or not he’ll get the girl: should he continue with his current career or become involved in politics, with a cameo of no less than first president George Washington? Should he remain in his current church, or risk breaking his mother’s heart to follow a path towards the Catholic Church? How can he best atone for previously trading in slave-produced sugar? Several other characters round out the book and help the reader dive deeper into the time period as well as universal questions such as retaining virtue in the face of gossip, the nature of men and women, and what makes a good marriage. 

I highly recommend this book for fans of romance and historical fiction, particularly Christian readers. The treatment of the different Christian denominations was appropriate to this era of American history, with its tiny Catholic population. Catholics—especially converts—will have a special appreciation for Josiah Robb’s struggle with wanting to reject Rome but feeling drawn anyway. I have heard from converts with a similar struggle! Secular readers are likely to enjoy the overall plot, but there is an emphasis on listening to God and searching for religious truth that may not appeal to them. 

I can be a little cynical about the romance genre, and still I only thought the action dragged a little near the end. My biggest complaint is simply that this is the first of the series, so while the plot ends satisfactorily, there are still some larger threads of the plot that only a sequel will address. Expect some minor frustration until we get another volume! 

If you don’t like period pieces or romance, avoid this book, but Ortiz’ In Pieces has broad appeal for readers who enjoy drama, adventure, and a happy ending. I eagerly await the sequel.

Get Catholic Books & eBooks for as little as $1 to FREE

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

Would you die for a flower? Would you kill for one? Providence, romance, and danger rule in this tense, heart-warming prison romance.

Celtic Crossing by Len Mattano

Relic lost, and faith found.

Finnian and the Seven Mountains (Vol. 1) by Philip Koslowski, Michael Lavoy, and Jim Fern

Join Finnian as his quest for a legendary sword takes him to the monks of Skellig Michael, a real life inspiration for the Jedi temple.

Cinderella by Charles Perrault

The true story of the Catholic saint who inspired the myth of Cinderella

The Tale of Patrick Peyton

How a humble, Irish immigrant brought Mary to Hollywood and then the World.

The Wind That Shakes The Corn: Memoirs of a Scots Irish Woman by Kaye Park Hinckley

Sold into slavery on her wedding night, an 18th-century Irishwoman struggles to free herself from her thirst for vengeance.

A Pius Man by Declan Finn

A hilarious espionage action adventure in the Vatican. Also a halberd fight scene. Nuff Said.

Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman

An intriguing story that will enchant with a sweet romance and take you on a thrill ride through the Gothic version of modern-day New York City.

Brave Water by Sarah Robsdottir

What if you had to risk your life for a simple cup of water?

Ornamental Graces by Carolyn Astfalk

A great romantic drama about how authentic love can restore life to two people who have been hurt in the past.

Silence by Shusaku Endo

The story that introduced faith to one of the most secular nations on Earth

Medal Knight Vol 1 by Voyage Comics

A young inventor in the 1920’s finds out his patrons intend to use his robots for crime. To fight back he becomes a hero inspired by the miraculous medal.

A World Such As Heaven Intended

Amara didn’t intend to fall in love with a Union soldier. Is love even possible in her war-torn world?

Honor at Stake by Declan Finn

If you’re looking for a vampire-romance with a truly unique twist look no further.

Books for Lent

Deepen your Lenten reflection with these stories of repentance and forgiveness

Doctors, Assassins, and Other Tyrants by Katherine Campbell

Kidnapped princes, delusional assassins, and a dim-witted unicorn. What could possibly go wrong?

By Violence Unavenged by Annette Young

A Catholic Historical Epic to Rival The Sound of Music.

The Lost Vessel by Mark Adderley

McCracken joins a treasure hunt for Captain Nemo’s lost ship in this exciting adventure that adds another chapter to Jules Verne’s greatest creation.

Finnian and the Seven Mountains (Vol.2) By, Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy

Can one map be the key to stopping the Viking Invasion?

The Fisherman’s Bride by Catherine Magia

The wife of Peter takes up her pen to tell her side of the story, and forces us to examine our ideas of perfection and holiness.