A young widow finds herself in the midst of pre-revolutionary fervor as she tries to make a better life for her two young sons. Enticed by a peddler to leave her home in a secluded Moravian community, she becomes entranced by the elegant sophisticated English society of Annapolis. Meanwhile the peddler drawn to the city only for financial gain begins to find himself siding with the patriot cause.
Restitution is a richly detailed and exciting tale of everyday people who find themselves changing the course of history.
Note: This book was just released in ebook format. It is currently out of print, but autographed copies are available through AuthorsDen.
The Story Behind the Story:
After the events of 9/11/01, I noticed a new sense of patriotism in the United States and I decided I wanted to explore the time when that sense first arose – when people who formerly thought of themselves is British subjects or residents of a colony began to think of themselves as citizens of a new nation. Unlike the heroine in my first book, I thought my heroine in this story should know how to cook and clean and otherwise function in a colonial household. The problem was that I had no idea how to do those things myself. Fortunately, I found the answer when we visited the “Gunshop” at Jerusalem Mill Village. Living history volunteers were cooking and demonstrating other household arts — and they were looking for more volunteers. I felt like I’d been waiting for this all of my life!
I soon dragged my whole family into the act. They may not have come out to cook over the open hearth every Sunday, but they willingly participated in camping events like Colonial Craftsman weekend at Jerusalem Mill, the Market Fair at Ft. Frederick, and even some English country dance lessons (okay, those didn’t last too long.)
Restitution was the second book I started, but because of the amount of research involved, I took time off to write the much more frivolous A Certain Want of Reason. So this was the third book I actually finished. In particular, I spent a great deal of time trying to learn as much as possible about “The Peggy Stewart Affair.” This was Maryland’s version of the Boston Tea Party, but in this case, the rebels weren’t satisfied with destroying the tea – they demanded the burning of the whole ship. I tried to use verbatim accounts from primary sources as much as possible. As my most serious book, I’m afraid it’s still not very serious much of the time, but then, life isn’t either.
During revision, I decided I needed to start my story just a bit earlier, showing my peddler traveling north and east of the settlement where he meets the widow. And then I remembered the site where I volunteered so many Sundays…it was eerily perfect, and for the cover we used the building in back of the mill. It’s called the “Gunshop” because legend has it that a dropout from the Quaker meeting assembled guns there for the colonial militia.
“Laced with humor and unusual characters that crackle off the pages, Dolan’s novel will enchant you….I found this book hard to put down.”
–Diane Scott Lewis, Historical Novels Review
“Kate Dolan, a volunteer living historian, uses her knowledge of the time period to construct a believable historical scene.”-
–Bill Scurlock, Editor in Chief, Muzzleloader
“…a story of adventure, double agents, villains, and romance, in the years just preceding the Revolutionary War …intriguing, fast moving, entertaining, and informational.”
–Richard R. Blake, Reader Views