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The year is 1778 Do you know where your Dutch American history is Of course, you know Its right here in this book There will also be talk about layers and cake, war, and Eddie Redmayne in a cravat because its me.Let me start by saying, Donna Thorland s books are always a terrific romp, be it through petticoats, continents, or history.usually all of the above Anyone who has been reading my reviews forthan a week will tell you my love for Donna Thorland s writing is fangirl legit Ms The year is 1778 Do you know where your Dutch American history is Of course, you know Its right here in this book There will also be talk about layers and cake, war, and Eddie Redmayne in a cravat because its me.Let me start by saying, Donna Thorland s books are always a terrific romp, be it through petticoats, continents, or history.usually all of the above Anyone who has been reading my reviews forthan a week will tell you my love for Donna Thorland s writing is fangirl legit Ms Thorland leads the reader through what is clearly the product of meticulous research on the author s part, disguised as masterful storytelling and her deep love of American history Following her on Facebook is this genealogist s dream.Ms Thorland s books make me think of Dorothy Dunnett or Diana Gabaldon with a dash of Julie Ann Long, Susanna Kearsley, or Lauren Willig If you enjoy any of these authors, I highly recommend Ms Thorland s writing.Brothers struggling for rights, to keepto shareto sell land ownership was an interesting layer to this story Add a spy to influence the sale Throw in colonists and their role in politics in the formative years of our nation s history This was new territory for me I was so engrossed, especially in an Austen esque walk through societal class, propery ownership, and patroonships Miltary vantage is of utmost importance in any war and land and position become bargaining chips I loved the layers to this story Add a family feud and pretty soon youre looking at a layer on layer of story in a full blown layer cake with diabetes frosting, non stop reading binges, and red, white, and blue patriotic sprinkles I make really bad analogies when Im hungry or just hungry for cake.Bottom line, if you love American history, Dutch or otherwise, with a dash of war, love, and intrigue and can imagine Eddie Redmayne in a cravat I can sooo see this The book will be a new favorite Its certainly one of mine.Many thanks to the talented Donna Thorland, NetGalley, and NAL for my review copy in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars Once upon a time 1778 to be exact there was a woman named Anna Winters Anna ran a finishing school in New York for the daughters of the local wealthy families, teaching them everything the well informed young female needed to know The problem is that Anna Winters isn t really Anna Winters She has a past as the daughter of a Dutch tenant farmer who was killed while attempting rebellion against his Dutch patroon, the rich landowner controlling his tenants, keeping himself rich and 3.5 stars Once upon a time 1778 to be exact there was a woman named Anna Winters Anna ran a finishing school in New York for the daughters of the local wealthy families, teaching them everything the well informed young female needed to know The problem is that Anna Winters isn t really Anna Winters She has a past as the daughter of a Dutch tenant farmer who was killed while attempting rebellion against his Dutch patroon, the rich landowner controlling his tenants, keeping himself rich and them just surviving.At 16 Anna was forced to run for her life and was rescued by the Widow, Thorland s recurring character, enigmatic and mysterious Rebel spy of this Renegades of the American Revolution Given a new life and new identity, kind of like being in the Witness Protection Program, Anna has been living a relatively serene existence as schoolmistress But, as this story begins, all that is going to change.She s forced by circumstances and a visit from a familiar figure from Thorland s perhaps most popular book of the series, THE TURNCOAT, to do her little part for the Rebels by returning to the very place she had fled so many years ago.She s undercover , of course, pretending not to speak or understand Dutch, not to be who she used to be, but there are many people from her past there Will her real identity be revealed Will she be able to achieve the goal she was sent for And what to do about her childhood love, Gerrit, dispossessed son of the old patroon, who is now a highwayman Will he recognize her In theory, this sounds like a very interesting story In practice, I was underwhelmed Nothing much ever happens and any slight happenings that occur weren t because of the intentions and actions of the main characters They didn t really make things happen Things just happened to them And throughout, there is a lot of ambivalence of characters and their allegiances.This is, of the four books in Thorland s series, the least entertaining to me My favorite is MISTRESS FIREBRAND, which has nonstop action and adventure and a good romance, followed by THE TURNCOAT THE REBEL PIRATE was okay, but this one, THE DUTCH GIRL, is pretty meh Even the romance was mostly an uneventful resuming of the relationship the H and h had hadthan a decade ago.What I enjoyed the most about this was the information about the early Dutch settlements and the patroon system Great historical details Also, the word lover in me enjoyed seeing some Dutch words interspersed throughout and their obvious relationship to some American English ones Cookies , for example, from Dutch koekje being the reason we left behind the word biscuits preferred by the Brits So from an educational and intellectual perspective, this is a good book Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGalley My opinions are my own.Donna Thorland just keeps getting better and better While each of her novels involves new main characters and can be read independently, there are some common elements which link them all, and this one takes place soon after Turncoat ended Kate Grey, the protagonist of Turncoat, has a minor role in The Dutch Girl as she takes up the Widow s work and recruits the reluctant Anna Winters into her network of spies.One of the Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGalley My opinions are my own.Donna Thorland just keeps getting better and better While each of her novels involves new main characters and can be read independently, there are some common elements which link them all, and this one takes place soon after Turncoat ended Kate Grey, the protagonist of Turncoat, has a minor role in The Dutch Girl as she takes up the Widow s work and recruits the reluctant Anna Winters into her network of spies.One of the main themes of Thorland s stories which has always prevented me from giving them five stars, is the love at first sight element The instant attraction I can understand, but the instant love was hard to get on board with The Dutch Girl finally makes a change from this as the two main characters share a history, but society s class ism and subsequent events kept them apart Now, political events and Anna s role as a spy for the Rebels within the Dutch community will divide them.Thorland s novels are so much fun, because there s always so much going on in them It s hard to go wrong with clever characters, witty dialogue, and a multi dimensional plot One of the things I love about them is that Thorland always picks a different setting for each book I don t just mean geographical locations, but also the cultural setting Philadelphia Quakers, Boston pirates, Manhattan theater and Native Americans, and now, Dutch New York You can be sure that the historical setting does not get neglected in the fast paced story line Whatever setting she goes with next, I can t wait to read it.Historical Readings and Reviews The Dutch Girl is another interesting historical fiction story by Donna Thorland with a twist of romance.The story is set during the American Revolution where some Dutch land holders possessed large tracks of land along the Hudson River These large estates prospered on the backs of poor tenants who work the land This set up was very similar to feudal land system in Europe The land holdings along the Hudson had strategic significance to both British and Revolutionary military Plus a good amou The Dutch Girl is another interesting historical fiction story by Donna Thorland with a twist of romance.The story is set during the American Revolution where some Dutch land holders possessed large tracks of land along the Hudson River These large estates prospered on the backs of poor tenants who work the land This set up was very similar to feudal land system in Europe The land holdings along the Hudson had strategic significance to both British and Revolutionary military Plus a good amount of discussion of the pro s and con s of tenant versus individual land management layered into the context of the story.Anna and Gerrit are childhood sweethearts but Anna is the daughter of a tenant farmer Gerrit is the eldest son of the patroon the lord of the estate They re love is a forbidden love They meet again as adults Is the old spark between them still there The characters are well developed and intriguing in a chaotic time The story has a bit of flavor of the TV show, Washington s Spies where the spy master John Andre is a character in the story.This is an immensely entertaining story that is very well written [ FREE PDF ] ⚑ The Dutch Girl ♟ The acclaimed author of Mistress Firebrand and The Turncoat continues her own revolution in American historical romance with another smart, sexy, swashbuckling novel set during the American RevolutionManhattan and the Hudson River Valley,The British control Manhattan, the Rebels hold West Point, and the Dutch patroons reign in feudal splendor over their vast Hudson River Valley estates But the roads are ruled by highwaymen Gerrit Van Haren, the dispossessed heir of Harenwyck, is determined to reclaim his inheritance from his decadent brother, Andries, even if that means turning outlaw and joining forces with the invading British Until, that is, he waylays the carriage of beautiful young finishing school teacher Anna Winters Anna is a committed Rebel with a secret past and a dangerous mission to secure the Hudson Highlands for the Americans Years ago, she was Annatje, the daughter of a tenant farmer who led an uprising against the corrupt landlords and paid with his life Since then, Anna has vowed to see the patroon system swept aside along with British rule But at Harenwyck she discovers that politics and virtue do not always align as she expects and she must choose between two men with a shared past and conflicting visions of the future Another outstanding historical fiction romance from Donna Thorland As I ve come to expect, there is a strong mystery plot coupled with a sexy romance And an attention to detail that left me wantingI knew nothing about the Dutch history of New York before I read this, and now I m fascinated by it It s a little discussed corner of American Revolutionary history and I was pleased to learn something new about a subject I thought I knew well As a romance reader, I loved the reunited lovers Another outstanding historical fiction romance from Donna Thorland As I ve come to expect, there is a strong mystery plot coupled with a sexy romance And an attention to detail that left me wantingI knew nothing about the Dutch history of New York before I read this, and now I m fascinated by it It s a little discussed corner of American Revolutionary history and I was pleased to learn something new about a subject I thought I knew well As a romance reader, I loved the reunited lovers plot, and thought both Anna and Gerrit were well developed, intriguing characters I wish there were room for another book about his brother, but that s just the series lover in me Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for my advanced reading copy of this novel This was an interesting novel set in the context of the American Revolutionary War Whilst this is not the focal point of the novel it does provide the backdrop to the protagonist s, Anna s, story Anna was a well written and developed character Daughter of a tenant farmer on a Dutch settlement along the Hudson River, she hides behind the fa ade that she has created for herself that of an English sp Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for my advanced reading copy of this novel This was an interesting novel set in the context of the American Revolutionary War Whilst this is not the focal point of the novel it does provide the backdrop to the protagonist s, Anna s, story Anna was a well written and developed character Daughter of a tenant farmer on a Dutch settlement along the Hudson River, she hides behind the fa ade that she has created for herself that of an English speaking finishing school teacher in New York She is careful to conceal the fact that she used to be Dutch speaking Annatje and we believe her to be a fugitive in hiding As the story progresses we slowly find outabout Anna s past and how it is that she came to be the well established headmistress of Winter s Academy Unfortunately I became disappointed with the novel about three quarters of the way through After the set up was so brilliant and the intrigue surrounding Anna s past so heightened, the last quarter of the story was incredibly rushed and therefore the climax was lost All of the answers were just given, the mystery solved, and I felt let down by such a hasty conclusion Nonetheless, the story went a long way to making me realize just how complex the Revolutionary War was The paradox of the wealthy, land owning patroons supporting the rebels and the disgruntled and poor tenant farmers supporting the British shows that the war was not as black and white as it is often portrayed as being When the layers of political agendas and varied grievances are piled upon each other only then does the majestic sense of the war start to become clear There were multiple factors at play, not all of them as pure or simple as one might expect especially me, British born and lacking in education about the subject.Another intriguing aspect of the novel was the exploration of the American Dutch culture It is astonishing to me how the culture managed to be preserved even after the British gained the territory from the Dutch in 1664 The patroon system was similar to the feudal system in Europe hundreds of years before that I had no idea that such a system was ever in place on US territory and it has sparked my interest in the subject I will absolutely be readingabout it Overall I am glad to have read this novel and gained the insight that I have into the patroonships and the American Dutch involvement in the Revolutionary War I just wish that the novel had ended with the same promise that I showed throughout the main body of it s chapters With ainvolved conclusion this novel could have been truly superb 4.5 starsI m a huge fan of Donna Thorland s Renegades of the Revolution series, and this might be my favorite of them all As with all of her books, I love that she provides so much historical context and detail on a subjects that I never even knew about ranging from small details like the painted tiles around Dutch fireplaces to larger issues like patroonships in the Hudson Valley and their place in the political spectrum of the Revolution Her attention to detail is impeccable, and her abil 4.5 starsI m a huge fan of Donna Thorland s Renegades of the Revolution series, and this might be my favorite of them all As with all of her books, I love that she provides so much historical context and detail on a subjects that I never even knew about ranging from small details like the painted tiles around Dutch fireplaces to larger issues like patroonships in the Hudson Valley and their place in the political spectrum of the Revolution Her attention to detail is impeccable, and her ability to set the scene with evocative descriptions of the changing seasons and local traditions make you feel like you re right there with the characters as the story unfolds The confluence of her background in scholarly research and work in scriptwriting is particularly evident here in the best possible way As with all her books, the author has created another strong and fierce female protagonist in Anna Winter Annatje Hoppe I particularly like that, although her full back story concerning her earlier flight from Harenwyck isn t revealed until later in the story, you already know exactly who she is as a person and that she doesn t let those events define her in any way Much like in book 1 of the series, the author also sets up a compelling hero in Gerritt and an equally compelling foil in Andries The division between the Van Haren brothers also serves as an interesting way of presenting the conflicting, but seemingly equally valid, views of the politics and philosophy concerning the Revolution, land ownership, and natural rights, among other issues Both sides present compelling arguments, and both are equally attractive in their own ways Whereas many authors might go for an easy dichotomy between good and evil, Donna Thorland embraces the very gray area and acknowledges the pros and cons of both the Colonists and the British sides of the war Also exciting is getting a glimpse of certain characters from earlier books I won t say who her characters are so real, that it felt like a genuine reader fangirl moment when this person showed up It also goes without saying that I can t wait to find outabout the Widow s backstory as the series develops My only minor complaint in what is otherwise a fantastic story is that everything wraps up very quickly at the end Rest assured you will get satisfactory resolution of the open storylines, but I wasn t quite ready for it to end Thank you very much to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for providing an ARC for review Now I just have to deal with the the long wait for her next book Thanks Berkley Publishing Group and netgalley for this ARC.This is a nostalgic, romantic, and maddening and muchI love Donna Thorland for writing about times in America that we don t usually know about but make great historical fiction Now I want to taste some fresh cinder and Dutch donuts With each subsequent book in this series, the politics becomes a little lighter and the focus a little brighter on the characters and romance This is a change that in no way diminishes my enjoyment of the series, but I do finish them with the vague feeling that much action was taking place off stage.