A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. a #25PagePreview of “Out Front the Following Sea” by Leah Angstman

Posted Monday, 31 January, 2022 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary copy of “Out Front the Following Sea” by the author Leah Angstman in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On what drew my curious eye towards this novel:

As you might have gathered through back-reading the reviews through my Story Vault (which sadly needs quite a bit of updating as the last few years were not as well maintained) you’ll notice I have a tendency to draw a keen eye of interest into Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical narratives and Literary Fiction. I enjoy seeking out stories which re-visionalise the boundaries of where History and Truth meet in the passageways of books and the stories which are being written to re-teach us something new which we might have not seen otherwise. Likewise, I believe there is a strong purpose in finding Feminist bent stories of Historical significance as so much of Women’s History is become lost or left unsaid for far too long.

One keen reason I love seeking out Historical Fiction in all its eloquence of study and intrigue is how dedicated the writers are who are writing these historical tomes of insight. These are well-researched stories and the incredible layers of both depth and information contained within them truly have enriched my own understanding of both History and the narratives of History as told through storytellers who bring History back to vibrant life. This is of course one reason I love Historical Fiction – you get to traverse through a looking-glass of time and re-step through those thresholds which wouldn’t have been given access to us otherwise.

Towards that end, I have known about the persecution of women during the earlier days of American History for most of my life as you can’t get through Elementary or Middle school without learning about the Salem Witch trials. However, it wasn’t until I became a book blogger in my mid to late thirties where I started to view those pieces of History a bit differently as the presentation of those years and of the plight of those women had changed through new research and a better dedication of telling the fuller truth of their lives. A lot of the women were misaligned of being something they weren’t and others were simply marked for reasons I still do not understand.

Ontop of which, early Colonial America was fraught with adversity and it is a time in our country’s history I felt had the most to be shared because it was on the fragile grounds of just being founded. Everything was quite new and yet, not a lot was changing for all persons who wanted to call this land their home. I’ve long known about the difficulties women faced for seeking out their own independence as much as how hard it was to carve out a living overall. It was a fiercely harsh world and it had to take a considerable amount of courage to tackle the challenges of surviving here. Ergo, this novel tipped a curious eye towards wanting to be read – as although I’ve read some Colonial America and Revolutionary War novels, I haven’t sought out novels within the scope of Pre-Colonial America — on the brink of when America was not yet America and the turmoil of what that part of this country’s history must have looked like for the earlier settlers.

I knew one thing going into reading this novel – it was going to be an eye opener in regards to the timeline of the central story’s arc and what was happening in the background as far as America was concerned directly. It is also a story about hard choices and the choices we make whilst we’re trying to survive – in that regard, it felt like a keenly insightful historical drama through the lens of two lead characters who you might not have felt would carry the story but of whom were the best to have that voice and perspective to share with us. I personally leant more towards Ruth than Owen initially. Sometimes we all need to challenge ourselves to read harder into History and find what was waiting for us therein.

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A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. a #25PagePreview of “Out Front the Following Sea” by Leah AngstmanOut Front the Following Sea
by Leah Angstman
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

**Shortlisted for the Chaucer Book Award**

OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a historical epic of one woman’s survival in a time when the wilderness is still wild, heresy is publicly punishable, and being independent is worse than scorned—it is a death sentence.

At the onset of King William’s War between French and English settlers in 1689 New England, Ruth Miner is accused of witchcraft for the murder of her parents and must flee the brutality of her town. She stows away on the ship of the only other person who knows her innocence: an audacious sailor—Owen—bound to her by years of attraction, friendship, and shared secrets. But when Owen’s French ancestry finds him at odds with a violent English commander, the turmoil becomes life-or-death for the sailor, the headstrong Ruth, and the cast of Quakers, Pequot Indians, soldiers, highwaymen, and townsfolk dragged into the fray. Now Ruth must choose between sending Owen to the gallows or keeping her own neck from the noose.

Steeped in historical events and culminating in a little-known war on pre-American soil, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a story of early feminism, misogyny, arbitrary rulings, persecution, and the treatment of outcasts, with parallels still mirrored and echoed in today’s society. The debut novel will appeal to readers of Paulette Jiles, Alexander Chee, Hilary Mantel, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, TaraShea Nesbit, Geraldine Brooks, Stephanie Dray, Patrick O’Brian, and E. L. Doctorow.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1646031948

Published by Regal House Publishing

on 11th January, 2022

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 334

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Published by: Regal House Publishing (@RegalHouse1)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction
+ #OutFrontTheFollowingSea and #HFVBT

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Leah Angstman

Leah Angstman

Leah Angstman is a historian and transplanted Michigander living in Boulder. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, her debut novel of King William’s War in 17th-century New England, is forthcoming from Regal House in January 2022.

Her writing has been a finalist for the Saluda River Prize, Cowles Book Prize, Able Muse Book Award, Bevel Summers Fiction Prize, and Chaucer Book Award, and has appeared in Publishers Weekly, L.A. Review of Books, Nashville Review, Slice, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief for Alternating Current and The Coil magazine and copyeditor for Underscore News, which has included editing partnerships with ProPublica. She is an appointed vice chair of a Colorado historical commission and liaison to a Colorado historic preservation committee.

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#25PagePreview banner created by Jorie in Canva.


| Out Front the Following Sea | by Leah Angstman

The opening pages are dedicated to illustrations and maps – which was quite the happy surprise as not too many novels are inclusive of illustrations and maps these days. Their the kind of maps where you can easily see where everything is placed as well and the navigations and keys are easily readable too which was an added bonus. There is also a depiction of the ship Primrose which is central to the plot.

On meeting her, Ruth has forged a life out of an impossible situation. The townsfolk have such a sullen and fierce angst against her that we do not readily understand but details emerge soon enough to give us a bit of bearing in that regard. She’s not quite an outcast in the towne but she’s not entirely accepted either – a bit cast betwixt and between, to where she has to live on the edges of the community rather than as a member of it properly. It is through this first meeting we also become introduced to Owen. Not quite a charmer but he seemed a bit more useful than Ruth gave him credit for being – as without him standing guard, I wasn’t sure if Ruth could have outrun her adversary any further given the circumstances. 

As that is how we found her – being chased straight out of towne with the accusations of thievery and yet, much to her own moxie, she wasn’t cut down in fear but rather bolted with fortitude to take-on her own miseries and solve her own situations. It was a small glimpse of her courage and strength to be self-sufficient but also how her spirit to survive shined through to reveal her character. Owen on the other hand, appeared to like to tease her and josh with her until the point of despair but I felt a lot of that was in jest as he truly enjoys her company and has taken a fancy to her as they seem to share quite a bit of history.

It is how they are familiar with each other and how they have an ease of banterment exchanged between them that you knew there was history there which needed further exploring. Owen rankles a bit on your nerves as much as he does Ruth but he’s caring enough. At least he is stepping forward to try to intervene on events and circumstances which pertain to Ruth rather than ignore them outright. I had to give him credit for that – whilst at the same time, there was deepening shadow of worry set on Ruth. She was towing the line on a life that I felt was far harder than what we knew at this junction of the novel and it was going to be quite telling once Angstman revealled more of those details. She definitely was being outed by the community and whether that was because of her heritage and her family or because of her own person, I knew not.

On the Historical writing styling of Leah Angstman:

The opening chapter(s) are detail heavy – which I would normally gravitate towards as it would give such a strong impression of a setting, a timescape and of course the lives of the characters – yet, in Out Front the Following Sea, I almost felt there was a misstep in how much descriptive narrative was used and the choices of what was being described in such minute details. I was a bit lost in certain places to carry-on with Ruth and then, find course with Owen because Angstman likes to round out her scenes with a lot of depictions of their world – which again, normally is just fine but time round it felt a bit cluttering round the edges. I would have preferred smaller does of the descriptions and a bit more fleshing out of the dialogue between Ruth and Owen in the beginning rather than the muddled way I felt I was being presented their towne’s community.

This story is multi-layered and thickened with context within the narrative to where you have to sit for spells to re-think about what you’ve read and the implications therein. Angstman is letting her story become a slow-brewed reveal to where you have to take your time with her words and to let the story’s own pace guide you forward. It is a story which doesn’t like to rush itself and it is perfect for readers who have enjoyed Historical and LIterary narratives like this one which are set to their own accord and find the truer beauty lies within the journey we take to discover its voice and message. I knew for one, this was a story that would align best once it was fully digested and where I had a bit of time left to ruminate over.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Follow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating: along the route

& learn about the bookaway attached to the tour:

Out Front the Following Sea blog tour banner provided by HFVBTs and is used with permission.

Kindly note, I scaled back my review this morning for my tour stop as I wasn’t quite ready to reveal my fuller ruminations about the novel whilst I am also hopeful the interview I prepared will be ready to share whilst the blog tour is still running. I am awaiting to hear back from the author with her responses whilst I am still writing a full review on the story. I’ll be sharing my final review for this tour by or before the last day (4th February) whilst I am equally hopeful the interview will run by then as well. IF not, stay tuned, I hope it will run shortly afterwards.

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Out Front the Following Sea”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Leah Angstman the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #HistoricalMondays banner, #25PagePreview banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2022.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 31 January, 2022 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

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