A Name Unknown by Roseanna M White

Prayers, Promises And Secrets

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M White is a marvellous Christian historical romance which I loved. It is the first book in the Shadows Over England series and I really cannot wait for the rest.

Set in 1914 with England on the brink of war, the reader glimpses some of the fear and suspicion people have regarding the future.

Names featured highly. Those with German sounding names suffered from persecution and their loyalty to England questioned. Even the crown didn’t escape. Prejudice was rife.

Names were important but character is more so. A name can say so much – nicknames signify comfort, ‘Mr’ or ‘Miss’ signifies status and formality. The reader is reminded that God gives us new names when we say ‘yes’ to Him. He calls us beloved. This contrasts with the names we often give ourselves of ‘unworthy’, ‘unloved’, ‘lowlife’ etc. These are lies whispered to us from the enemy. We need to take every thought captive and listen to the voice of God.

Faith in God is an important theme. Some characters seem more comfortable with God than others. A hard life often separates characters from God, as trusting anyone seems difficult. Having faith in an unseen God seems impossible. “Perhaps God heard people like Peter Holstein – perhaps – but He certainly didn’t show any indication of hearing people like her.” Life can be hard, but God does see us, even when it doesn’t feel like He does.

“God do you see that little girl? Do you care?” Anger at God bubbles up at injustice. We live in a fallen world but God cares.

Prayer is important. At times it can feel like “praying to a deaf God.” For others “He never doubted God heard him.”

Britain in 1914 was a society built on class. For those in the lower classes, they sometimes excluded themselves from God, believing He neither saw nor heard them. They may employ someone from a higher class to intercede for them. The fact that God answers prayer came as an epiphany. “Maybe God did care… He listened to the prayers of the rich, even when they prayed for the poor.” Prayer can draw us closer to God. “He breathed out a prayer and breathed in peace.”

The novel is about secrets. We all have them. Some are to protect. Others are a matter of national security.

Identity is a major theme. We all need to know who we are and whose we are.

Family is another theme. Family may not necessarily be blood ties, it is the people who love us and who have our backs.

There is the theme of healing – literal and healing of the soul.

I really enjoyed A Name Unknown. It had an unusual hero with a stutter who was endearing. The heroine was lovable – a mixture of vulnerable and strong with a great sense of justice and loyalty. The plotline was intricate and kept my attention throughout.

Living in England, it was refreshing to read of places and events that I knew. Roseanna White wove history into fiction with a marvellous result. I am looking forward to the subsequent books in the series.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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