A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon
A Girl Called Samson Book Cover A Girl Called Samson
Amy Harmon
Young Adult, New Adult, American Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Lake Union Publishing
April 1, 2023
Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD

In 1760, Deborah Samson is born to Puritan parents in Plympton, Massachusetts. When her father abandons the family and her mother is unable to support them, Deborah is bound out as an indentured servant. From that moment on, she yearns for a life of liberation and adventure. Twenty years later, as the American colonies begin to buckle in their battle for independence, Deborah, impassioned by the cause, disguises herself as a soldier and enlists in the Continental Army. Her impressive height and lanky build make her transformation a convincing one, and it isn’t long before she finds herself confronting the horrors of war head-on. But as Deborah fights for her country’s freedom, she must contend with the secret of who she is―and, ultimately, a surprising love she can’t deny.

“Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Proverbs 31:25

A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon is a fantastic, fictional retelling of the historical figure Deborah Samson, who fought in the Revolutionary War under the guise of a young man, Robert Shurtliff. From her formative days as an indentured servant through the war and into the years after, the story of Deborah is fascinating, amazing, and inspiring. She was most definitely a person of deep character and conviction, who chased after dreams far above her lot in life.

“I thought nothing could be worse than the small, painfull existence I was living. I also feared the war would end, and I would miss my only shot a deliverance. As it turned out, I saw all the bloodshed I could bear. I watched boys die and grown men weep. I saw cowardice reign and bravery falter. And I wintnessed what dreams cost, up close and personal.”

– Deborah Samson

For a fan of accurate historical fiction, A Girl Called Samson will be highly pleasing. Amy’s research skills, attention to detail, and ability to weave a fictional story into the fabric of history is bar none. I have personally visited many of the areas she writes about and studied the history of our country’s founding in depth. Her portrayal and descriptions of the conditions and battles as well as the men who fought on the side of independence paints an accurate picture of the sights, sounds, attitudes, and struggles involved in this historical conflict.

“And yet that truth, the truth of the ages, is that it is not for ourselves that we act. It is not our lives we are building, but the lives of generations that will come.”

– Deborah Samson

For her fictional story Amy has chosen to deviate from the real life course of Deborah’s life. Amy’s adaption creates a touching love story which enhances the qualities that Deborah exhibited throughout her life. It also gives a platform to display her coming of age journey from child to adult and young girl to woman. After finishing the book I did my own research on Deborah. I had to spend some time contemplating this dichotomy, but quickly came to the conclusion that it did nothing to diminish Deborah’s life or accomplishments.

It’s always hard for me to convey in words the depth of emotions that Amy’s writing is able to elicit in me. Her books are always such a perfect combination of compelling story and artistry of delivery, with A Girl Named Samson no exception. Amy consistently finds the perfect balance between entertaining, heart-warming, and thought-provoking. I was particularly touched by Deborah’s love and devotion to the scriptures, especially Proverbs, and how it was such an anchor for her in tumultuous moments. “Proverbs 16:9 has ever been on my mind. ‘A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ All my ways, all my steps, have brought me here.” Not only did these scriptural nuggets fit in Deborah’s life but they will challenge you to examine the bigger picture of life.

Do Not Miss This Book!!! And if you can’t wait for its offical release April 1st, it has been made available through Kindle’s First Reads!