I received this book for free from FFBC Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi
Published by Delacorte Press on June 23, 2020
Genres: YA Historical Fiction
Source: FFBC Tours
A reimagining of the story behind Agent 355–a New York society girl and spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War–perfect for fans of Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key and the novels of Julie Berry.
Rebellious Frannie Tasker knows little about the war between England and its thirteen colonies in 1776, until a shipwreck off her home in Grand Bahama Island presents an unthinkable opportunity. The body of a young woman floating in the sea gives Frannie the chance to escape her brutal stepfather–and she takes it.
Assuming the identity of the drowned Emmeline Coates, Frannie is rescued by a British merchant ship and sails with the crew to New York. For the next three years, Frannie lives a lie as Miss Coates, swept up in a courtship by a dashing British lieutenant. But after witnessing the darker side of the war, she realizes that her position gives her power. Soon she finds herself eavesdropping on British officers, risking everything to pass information on to George Washington’s Culper spy ring as agent 355. Frannie believes in the fight for American liberty–but what will it cost her? Inspired by the true “355” and rich in historical detail and intrigue, this is the story of an unlikely New York society girl turned an even unlikelier spy.
My first thought on how to describe this book is just, wow. It was so good. The history in it reminds me of the Seeds of America series by Laurie Halse Anderson. It brings to mind a time that we don’t always learn about as much as we think we did in school. At least I know there are things about the Revolutionary War that I never thought about, even though I’m sure it was pretty obvious. But like the Anderson series, this reminded me about how slavery was still something going on in this time, it didn’t just revolve around the Civil War like we get so much about in school. Not to mention how much we talk about the United States starting in 1776, but that wasn’t the end of the Revolutionary War, it really was right around the beginning!
This book is about a female spy that actually we don’t know for sure who she was, but Veronica Rossi has woven an imaginative tale that invites the reader in to where you can just see the type of woman who might have volunteered for this type of duty. But not just that, we got a peek into so many different lifestyles of people at that time. From those living on islands like the Grand Bahamas, to those privateering or pirating, and clear up to the well-to-do members of society. In this story we really get only the society of those who were Loyalists, siding with the British. Our glimpses into the lives and fight of those who were fighting for American’s freedom are mainly through shopkeepers, prisoners on horrible ships and other prisons, and those smuggling to safety those that they can from the area of New York and the other British holdings.
We got to hear the names of several historical figures as players mostly in the background of the story, George Washington and Benedict Arnold to name a few.
A wonderful story, fitting for the times we are in, bringing up how the slaves were treated at that time. Yes, the British may have “freed them”, but it was only the slaves of Loyalists, not those of the Patriots. And it wasn’t just that this was such a good story, the writing really kept me reading, barely able to put down this over 350 page book. It’s one I’ll be highly recommending, as well as purchasing for the students at the high school library where I work.
About the Author:
VERONICA ROSSI is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the UNDER THE NEVER SKY series. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, grew up in California, and graduated from UCLA. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two sons, one of whom just surpassed her in height. Find her online at veronicarossi.com or on Twitter at @rossibooks.