Rated of 5
by Catherine M. (Grand Forks, ND)
Accidents of Providence
Stacia Brown’s "Accidents of Providence" follows two significant storylines. The main narrative details the life of Rachel Lockyer, an unmarried glove maker who finds herself pregnant at a time in history when all women were marginalized and those unmarried and pregnant were further disdained by society and punished harshly for their unfortunate circumstances.
Another storyline, which is intertwined with Lockyer’s, is that of the Levellers, a socialist political group advocating legal equality (not necessarily for women, though) and religious tolerance. William Walwin, the father of Rachel’s unborn baby, is actively, albeit hesitantly at times, involved with this group.
The story moves through Rachel’s pregnancy, her relationship with William Walwin, the investigation of the events surrounding her baby’s death, her trial for violating “An Act to Prevent the Destroying and Murdering of Bastard Children", and the decline of the Leveller’s influence in 17th century England.
Overall, this is an absorbing book; however, I could see no reason for Rachel to be in love with William Walwin, an insipid and uninspiring character at best.