Leon takes us on a terrific journey, graphically detailing the depths of inhumanity and the height of God's grace. The first book in the Sydney Cove series is set in historic London, and it's fresh and filled with vivid characters and tender moments. Readers will greatly anticipate the next installment.

Hannah Talbot resorts to stealing in order to eat and is sentenced to serve 15 years outside her beloved London. When John Bradshaw is forced to defend his life, he's arrested in the death of his attacker. Then he learns that his wife has deserted him and he must struggle with a lifetime sentence alone.

Both Hannah and John find themselves aboard the vessel that will take them to Australia to serve out their sentences. As they endure the deplorable conditions, John becomes Hannah's protector. Fearful of what lies ahead, Hannah declines John's advances. Can faith and love flourish in the shadow of bondage? (REVELL, Aug., 304 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jennifer Reyes