The Loyalist’s Wife
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.
With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.
My thanks to the amazing Brinda for inviting me to post here today. We share a love of writing, of blogging and of all things techie.
Are We Really So Different? by Elaine Couglar
The Loyalist’s Wife is historical fiction based on a young Loyalist couple trying to survive the American Revolutionary War, a war which took place over the years 1776 to 1783. What is the attraction in writing about a time over two hundred years ago?
Perhaps I am intrigued by the people who suffered through times gone by, especially as most of what we read of history has to do with the famous battles, the rich and powerful people, and the numerous treaties which resulted. Little is said about the ordinary men and women whose lives were most definitely not their own in these situations.
Today I am fortunate to live in a democratic society so enjoy many more freedoms than my characters. John and Lucy’s lives have been thrown into chaos by this war. At night John thinks about the battle that day where he saw a young enemy soldier, only a boy, scalped as he lay wounded in the grass:
Back in England the boy he [John] had been lost everything, too.
He twisted in his blanket and wondered how the mothers and children were faring this first night without the fort to protect them. Then he thought of Lucy. He thought of her reddish hair and her sparkling eyes, of the soft curves of her body as she lay in their rope bed with the fluffy feather mattress. He could almost forget his damp hard place on the ground as he pictured her, under the patchwork quilt, and envied her.
And Lucy, later in the book, answers her father who wants her to keep the door locked while he goes out to the barn to check on the animals after a frightening scare:
“You don’t have to worry about that, Father. I’ve spent the last year making very sure that bar is across.” Her voice rose. “And I’m getting tired of it. When is this war ever going to be over? I don’t want to spend my days afraid for my very life. And for John’s life. And Harper John’s For yours, for everyone’s. I just want the world to go back to what it was,” Lucy cried, and Harper John began to wail, a simmering smoldering sound which rose to a wrenching, piercing scream.
So while I don’t live in a warring country and I have the freedom to live my life and write what I like, relating to real people in these situations is not so hard. Telling the tales of my characters and reading those of others’ characters brings that history to life. And because I feel their pain, I understand in a way that just reading dates and battles and lists of reasons why one country did something to another can absolutely never do.
Elaine Couglar, photo by Paula Tizzard
Elaine blogs at On Becoming a Wordsmith which may be found at www.elainecougler.com. She also is frequently found here: @ElaineCougler, Facebook/ElaineCouglerAuthor, and LinkedIn author groups. The Loyalist’s Wife is available on Amazon and Kobo so far. www.amazon.com www.kobo.com