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The Rose and the Whip

by Jae Hodges

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This is riveting historical fiction! Author Jae Hodges transported me back to the seventeenth century to witness an event that I wasn't familiar with and I was almost able to feel the agony from the pain of those whips! The Rose and the Whip is told in the first person and Hodges uses both present and past events to share Lidia's life story. The sentence meted out for her decision to walk naked into a Newbury meeting house happens almost immediately, and Lidia learns that she will receive a severe whipping. The details of this whipping are graphically described in chapters such as The First Lash, when she barely feels the sting, and then later, Twenty-one Lashes, when she admits that "I was no longer able to flinch." These chapters alternate with the accounts of Lidia's marriage, the birth of her sons, and the realization that the Quakers were being persecuted for their different beliefs.

The Rose and the Whip is a remarkable story of one woman's courage, strength, and determination and it chronicles the injustice that was present almost 400 years ago in a country famous for its search for religious freedom. As I learned Lidia Wardell's story I was amazed with the irony that the Puritans, who chose to punish the Quakers for their beliefs, were the very same people who had fled England because of their own religious persecution. This is a book that will make you think , and even question, just how much our society has really learned?

I received a copy of this book from the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. There was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts. ( )
  fcplcataloger | Aug 13, 2020 |
This story has all the feels, and you almost feel every single lash right along with Lidia Wardell. Lidia decided to walk naked through the local meeting house and because of this, she has been persecuted to a thrashing at the whipping post. What boldness Lidia must have had, to walk naked in 1663. During a time in history when women were seen and not heard, and this was just a few decades before the Witch Trials.

Lidia has done what she has done, and now has to take her sentence. As she gets tied to the post, the one that these town people walk past every single day without a second thought. She slowly starts to recall events and things in her life. Although this story's timeline, is very short it covers many years.

With each feel of the whip on her back, she evaluates her life so far and the different events and decisions she has made to get to where she is. She was only standing up for a belief and in protest of the treatment of Quakers. Although she is not the first to receive punishment, nor will she be the last, for religious persecution she also thinks of all those who have also suffered by the dissenters.

The author does a really good job writing these hard whipping scenes, in that she is able to get the reader to feel the pain and sympathy for Lidia. This was an interesting period to read about, and how they often did things with in the courts and town when it came to crime and punishment. Thank you to the author for the book, and for Historical Fiction Virtual Book tours for the invite! ( )
  Chelz286 | Aug 1, 2020 |
The Rose and the Whip is based in history and the author choses to let the heroine tell the tale in her own voice. As the story takes place in the 17th century it takes a little to adjust to the cadence of the writing but it’s better told this way. It is also, somehow a story that belongs as much to today in some ways as to history.

As Lidia shares the story through each step of her experience the reader is immersed with her and it’s not always easy and sometimes downright uncomfortable. Then you realize that the people who are punishing Lidia for her religious apostasy are people who left England in fear for their lives because of their religious beliefs.

Quite the brain twist that, eh?

Ms. Hodges builds a truly compelling read out of limited historical records. Lidia is a very sympathetic character and what was done to her and her family is absolutely horrifying. For believing in a different way to pray. For a country started by people running from persecution we sure do know how to persecute – and we haven’t stopped. You would think after almost 350 years we would have learned.

This is a good read about the beginnings of the country and how it dealt with provacative issues. I read it in one sitting. ( )
  BooksCooksLooks | Jul 27, 2020 |
All that is documented of Lidia Wardell's existence is her one act of defiance in May of 1663. Lidia Wardell walked into her town meeting house naked. For this act, Lidia was given a punishment of being stripped down to her waist and publicly whipped. Lidia was not the first to be punished or the last, but her actions tell a larger story of persecution and perseverance.
The Rose and the Whip is a unique look at a very specific incident. With limited information, the time period is examined thoroughly through Lidia's punishment. I was amazed that the whole story took place within the period of time that it took for Lidia to be whipped. I can't imaging the feeling of being whipped, but the author has managed to recreate the feeling. With each lash of the whip, Lidia recalls how she has come to be tied to the whipping post and those that have suffered before her for their faith. It was intriguing to read about Colonial America and the persecution of those of the Quaker faith by a group of people that left their homes due to religious persecution. Through Lidia the bravery and fortitude of all those who chose to defy the church are highlighted. I do wish the writing had stayed firmly in from Lidia's point of view instead of jumping to tell the reader what is unknown. Overall, a deeply moving story of courage and bravery in Colonial Massachusetts. ( )
  Mishker | May 17, 2020 |
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