Desperate Hope

Susan Leigh
Much of this story occurs in New York during the Revolutionary War. Gavin Cullane is close friends with Alden Carter, who protects Gavin from injury during an explosion, but suffers a traumatic injury in doing so. Alden is married to Tansy, and has told Gavin many stories about her strength and courage during their time together. After Alden succumbs to his injuries on a British prison barge, Gavin does what he needs to do to escape the ship and to honor a promise made to Alden to ‘fight back’ before he died. He ends up meeting Tansy, her infant son, and other members of her extended family, who are doing what they can to help Washington’s troops beat the British. This puts him in an awkward position, as he is the colonial liaison and reports to the British.
This story transports readers back to the Revolutionary War, and evokes the fear, danger and secrecy surrounding those who were fighting for their very survival. This is a tightly- woven, complex tale that pulls readers in from the start. Ms. Furlong sets the mood well, and readers can visualize the cat-and-mouse gamesmanship between the colonists fighting for freedom and survival, and the British soldiers trying to thwart those dreams. The protagonists and the major characters are portrayed vividly. Their motivations are cleverly defined; however, the shift is decidedly abrupt when Tansy and Gavin switch from being enemies to lovers. Other than that, the story flows well, and the tension stays taut. There are some close calls and some tightly-paced scenes, which leads to a satisfying conclusion for most of these characters, with one notable exception…
Carey Sullivan