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.
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.
**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.
Places to find the book:
Published by Regal House Publishing
on 11th January, 2022
Format: Paperback ARC
Converse via: #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction
+ #OutFrontTheFollowingSea and #HFVBT
Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook