Fire and the Hammer Author:Shirley Barker "Free America" has been a cry and a challenge from the beginning of our nation's history. To Lass Marvayne, fiery red-headed daughter of a blockade runner of the 1770's, "free America" meant she could do what she wanted, love whom she willed, and if she willed it, love one man to the death. — To the man she loved, Mahlon Doan, it meant following ... more »the Quaker "light", refusing to pay taxes to the Continental Congress, and with five other wild, fighting Doans, waging a private war within a war. Spirited and willful, Mahlon finds his lawlessness running up against a new kind of liberty that, unknown to him, is growing to mean "the United States of America".
Lass follows slim, unpredictable Mahlon like a tide to the moon, disregarding his unpledged love of another woman.
A series of brief meetings shadowed by ecstasy and terror are all Lass has with which to create her hope and destiny.
The Doans, storming along the Pennsylvania highways, going from hold-up to hold-up, from increasing violence to the edge of the scaffold, become the great doomed figures, the outlaw legend of their time. Real and legend both, they stand for all the conflicted who are tested in an age of change.
Valley Forge, Trenton, and Philadelphia of the occupation are the backdrop of Shirley Barker's timeless story. With words of passion, she weaves her soldiers, outlaws, spies, and statesmen into the brilliant cloth of history, keeping each true to his own nature. The nature of Lass Marvayne, driven by love, hopeful and faithful, blends with the character of a time when only great hope could bring a new country and a new freedom to birth.« less