To Follow Her Heart (The Southold Chronicles Book 3) is the story of Patience Terry and her enduring love for Captain Jeremy Horton. As the story begins, word has arrived at Southold, Long Island, that Jeremy's ship, the Swallow has sunk along the coast of Barbados with no survivors. While his brother Barnabas' family are planning a memorial, Patience refuses to believe that Jeremy is dead. Just as his funeral begins, he walks in on the very ceremony and proves he is very much alive.
As the story proceeds we learn of Jeremy's rescue. Subsequently, he learns from his rescuers that there is to be a bit of an uprising. He is asked to bring men from Southold for a possible battle and help bring New Amsterdam under British rule. While there was little fanfare or battling, the crown did achieve getting New Amsterdam under its rule. For Patience, it was just the first trip that sidetracked Jeremy from marrying her.
Largely a work of fiction, the Horton family is indeed very real and true ancestors of the author, Rebecca DeMarino. She is descended from Barnabas Horton who was indeed part of the Southold community in 1664. Also mentioned in this book was the Reverend John Youngs, the pastor of the local church. To Follow Her Heart is the third book in this series and if I had read the first two books perhaps I would have had learned more about his life. As it is, I enjoyed reading up on Southold and its beginnings. Bringing these characters to life gives life to history that for some is dull. I have long been a fan of American History and these connections intrigue me.
This book is the love story of Patience and Jeremy. Love for a sea captain brings little comfort when the absences are long and the future is uncertain. Patience is thrilled when Jeremy gives up his life at sea and although he pledges they will marry, he tarries long and has on more than one occasion prompted her to give up. He begins work in a shipyard and plans to build her a home. All in all he keeps putting her off until the perfect time to wed. When his business is established, when he has her home built and on and on. Like Patience, I was getting weary of his excuses and wondered if that captain could be happy living on land!
While this is a work of historical fiction, the Reverend Joshua Hobart was a true minister and served as the second pastor of the Puritan Church in Southold, Long Island. In our story, Reverend Hobart was a young widowed pastor looking for both a church to pastor and a wife. Patience caught his eye and while she loved Jeremy, she found him a kind and companionable friend. As the book drew to a close, he proved invaluable to her as she made her final decision about Jeremy. I enjoyed this work of fiction for the historical significance it gives to some of the earliest days of our country.