In 1808, when Emma meets and marries Eric Montclaire (the famed “most handsome man west of the Appalachians”), this young daughter of prominent St. Louis citizens believes a fairy tale has just begun. Instead, her husband’s angelic looks quickly prove only to mask a monstrous soul all too capable of possessive emotions and physical abuse. Praying for mercy, she is devastated when Eric insists on her joining his yearlong group expedition to the Pacific Ocean, following the trail Lewis and Clark blazed just a few years earlier. By the time cartographer Luke Bowen realizes Emma’s plight, it’s too late to easily untangle what has become an epic web of lies, theft, murder, courtroom drama, and a deep longing for love. Only God can show them the way out.
“Jamie Carie’s most riveting work to date . . . a story that defines grace.”
Window to My World
“Jamie Carie seamlessly weaves in historical details of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Louisiana Purchase into this engaging story.”
When I began Angel’s Den I had no idea what God would reveal to me about abused women and the complex relationships that surround domestic violence. In 1808—Angel’s Den‘s setting—women who were emotionally and physically abused had little recourse. The law didn’t recognize their situation as a problem, the church gave them little support, even society as a whole (including friends and family) looked the other way and hoped the woman would figure out how to be a good wife and stop making her husband frustrated and angry.
I learned the sad truth that while today’s laws have changed to better protect the abused, the church and society still grapples with answers for this rampant problem that destroys lives.
Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000)
In the face of such a statistic there’s only one thing I’m sure of. God has an answer for every case. In Angel’s Den I was surprised by how God saves Emma. I had it planned one way, but God had another “landing place” in mind. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (Amplified Bible) “For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [a]adjusted and [b]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.“
In the midst of the devastation of our sin toward one another, our Heavenly Father stretches out his hand of hope and salvation. This book impacted me in ways I never expected. My prayer is it brings hope to those who have suffered in this way and brings awareness to us all.
Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 183781, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at iv (2000), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/183781.htm
4 1/2 Stars From The Romance Readers Connection
Emma is a somewhat protected young woman in St. Louis in 1808. She has drawn the attention of the “most handsome man west of the Appalachians,” Eric Montclaire. When he declares his love and requests her hand in marriage, her parents arrange a lavish wedding. But there is trouble almost from the start.
At the same time, Eric is arranging to travel west to open new trading posts and increase his monetary wealth. He has contacted a cartographer, Luke Bowen, and hires him for the expedition. Emma is dismayed when Eric decides to take her on this trip. She had hoped to have some time away from her physically and emotionally abusive husband.
At the center of the novel is a diary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, written by a young explorer, Robert Frazer. Eric Montclaire will go to any length to acquire the diary and the novel begins with Mr. Frazer’s murder.
I have to admit that I couldn’t quite see where this book was going to go as I read the prologue. But, honestly, this turned into one of the best inspirational novels I’ve read in a long time. The author portrays the pain of domestic violence in a timeless fashion that is applicable to the present. As the expedition winds its way west, Emma and Luke become more aware of Eric’s evil plans and the role he took in Mr. Frazer’s death. The book culminates in an exciting trial. Through it all is Emma’s developing faith and the growing love between her and Luke, forbidden because Emma is married.
I strongly urge you to read this excellent novel. I could not put it down and while the descriptions of Emma’s experience are disturbing, they contribute to our understanding of Eric Montclaire as a damaged and evil man. At the same time, Emma emerges as a survivor. Try not to miss this one!
Reviewed by: Jeri Neal
Rating: 4 1/2
Here is another review of Angel’s Den http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/angels-den-by-jamie-carie-review.html
And here is a special interview with Kim Ford of Window to My World Blog. The contest is over but the interview was fun!
It’s not a big secret that I’m not a fan of historical fiction–but I do pick up a novel of that genre every once in a while. Especially if it is a new release from an author I trust…
Discussion Questions (Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t read the book yet these questions might give some of the story away!)