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Young Drew Morgan has an enviable position. Handpicked by Bishop Laud, next to the king the most powerful man in England, it is his assignment to infiltrate Puritan villages, turn over "traitors" to the church and crown, and discover the secret identity of the notorious pamphleteer Justin. But when Drew falls in love with a Puritan curate's daughter, his personal fortunes b Young Drew Morgan has an enviable position. Handpicked by Bishop Laud, next to the king the most powerful man in England, it is his assignment to infiltrate Puritan villages, turn over "traitors" to the church and crown, and discover the secret identity of the notorious pamphleteer Justin. But when Drew falls in love with a Puritan curate's daughter, his personal fortunes begin to falter as his spiritual yearnings take root. After unwittingly betraying what he knows to be right, the stage is set for his conversion. At last Drew sails to the New World colony of Massachusetts and sets out to win the forgiveness of those whom he has wronged--especially the woman he loves. Only as Bishop Laud reaches his long arm across the ocean in one final threat can Drew prove his true mettle and affections. Trace this unforgettable adventure of one of America's first families of faith, the beginnings of a vibrant spiritual heritage that will span generations.


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Young Drew Morgan has an enviable position. Handpicked by Bishop Laud, next to the king the most powerful man in England, it is his assignment to infiltrate Puritan villages, turn over "traitors" to the church and crown, and discover the secret identity of the notorious pamphleteer Justin. But when Drew falls in love with a Puritan curate's daughter, his personal fortunes b Young Drew Morgan has an enviable position. Handpicked by Bishop Laud, next to the king the most powerful man in England, it is his assignment to infiltrate Puritan villages, turn over "traitors" to the church and crown, and discover the secret identity of the notorious pamphleteer Justin. But when Drew falls in love with a Puritan curate's daughter, his personal fortunes begin to falter as his spiritual yearnings take root. After unwittingly betraying what he knows to be right, the stage is set for his conversion. At last Drew sails to the New World colony of Massachusetts and sets out to win the forgiveness of those whom he has wronged--especially the woman he loves. Only as Bishop Laud reaches his long arm across the ocean in one final threat can Drew prove his true mettle and affections. Trace this unforgettable adventure of one of America's first families of faith, the beginnings of a vibrant spiritual heritage that will span generations.

30 review for The Puritans

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    This was a book that taught me more about church history, some of the corruption in the 1600s, how the King James version of the Bible came to be commissioned and the history and life of that time period in general. The fictional part of it combines covert spying missions, romance, great sacrifice, martyrdom, relocation to a New World, and overcoming evil.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    They were ordinary people, but their story is anything but ordinary. They disagreed with the Church of England fled to the new land called America. They were called Puritans. Drew Morgan seizes the opportunity to work for the high-up Bishop, longing for adventure and romance. That's exactly what he gets.... "I loved this book--it's one of my favorites in the series, and one of my favorite novels! It's just so emotional and deep and exciting...It also has romance (maybe too much), adventure, and Ch They were ordinary people, but their story is anything but ordinary. They disagreed with the Church of England fled to the new land called America. They were called Puritans. Drew Morgan seizes the opportunity to work for the high-up Bishop, longing for adventure and romance. That's exactly what he gets.... "I loved this book--it's one of my favorites in the series, and one of my favorite novels! It's just so emotional and deep and exciting...It also has romance (maybe too much), adventure, and Christian values. I was brought to tears, and I laughed...all of The American Family Portrait series is good, but this is one of my favorites, as I've said. The characters in all of his books are so real! Yes, there were some rather violent moments, almost gruesome, but it just brought me more concern and appreciation for the characters and all they went through. I read it first when I was 14 or 15, and I'm looking forward to reading it again in future years!" (Earlier review)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Very good book overall, but it infuriates me that nobody tried to remove Jenny from that abusive situation once she was married to Elliot. Not until she sent that Bible verse but she shouldn't have HAD to - Drew and Nell and Cooper should have banded together and gotten her far away from Elliot at the first sign of mental and physical abuse. UGH.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paulin

    My 6th book installment for June 2010 This book reminded me so much about sacrifices, and not just any kind of sacrifice, but the kind that matters for eternity. Dying for your faith, dying for your conviction, dying for the One true God who can circumvent what could have happened and yet chose to allow suffering not because He is not in control but precisely because He is. He would allow others to suffer for the sake of the people around them so that they may be enlightened in knowing the God of My 6th book installment for June 2010 This book reminded me so much about sacrifices, and not just any kind of sacrifice, but the kind that matters for eternity. Dying for your faith, dying for your conviction, dying for the One true God who can circumvent what could have happened and yet chose to allow suffering not because He is not in control but precisely because He is. He would allow others to suffer for the sake of the people around them so that they may be enlightened in knowing the God of salvation, the God who is faithful and true, the God who is sovereign. We are standing here today, because we stood on the shoulders of the great people who suffered before us, who forged the road ahead of us, whose sacrifice preceded us so that we might have a better future, a brighter tomorrow, and a bigger and grander dream for the next generations where we would lay the foundation today. Better is a life lived in hopes, dreams, plans, sacrifice laid down before Jesus, than live a life of accolades, affluence, and wealth in the influence of the wicked. My successes are the gifts of others to me. My failures are my gift to others. But even my failures are not a total waste for I find in them the gift of friendship and humility. – Erwin Raphael McManus, Lead Pastor of Mosaic Church in LA, CA Quoting the quotable quotes here: "If our question is what are we going to do, then we are asking the wrong question because this is a question of hopelessness by helpless people. It’s the question of a people looking to themselves for answers, and the people who look only to themselves for answers to life’s problems are drawing from a shallow well. What question should we be asking instead is “What would God have us to?” Are we do filled with pride to think that something strange and unusual is happening to us? That we are the only people who have faced a crisis like this? That God is so shortsighted He has failed to supply us with sufficient guidance with His Word? God knows our needs. He will provide a way. In the meantime, we must live by faith in God’s Word. Faith does not wear a long face. Faith does not fret. Faith will not waste a beautiful day like today with concern for tomorrow. “This is the day which the Lord hath made: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” I dream of a future. I dream of a place where people can speak without fear of being killed for expressing themselves. I dream of a country where honesty is the national heritage, where people spend more time amassing friends than they do amassing wealth. I dream of a community where God is King and where all the townspeople are committed to loving and serving God and one another. There is no need for a watchman, no jail, no court. They’re not needed because everyone is just as much concerned about others as they are about themselves. And everyone lives in freedom… freedom from hate, freedom from fear and freedom to love and be loved. Dying for a dream is not a vain thing. The sacrifice we make – whether that sacrifice comes through living or dying – will be the foundation of a new community. A community that will be a blessing to our children and our children’s children for ages to come. In comparison to the depth of life lived by the humble people who has only enough, the glitter, the lights, the jewels, the accolades and the wealth of the affluent were but empty vessels. “When the heart is right, it matters not which way the head lieth” – Christopher Matthews from the Puritans There is poor comfort in sitting down in any place that you cannot say, “This place is appointed me of God.” Can you say that God spied out this place for you, and there has settled you above all hindrances? Did you find that God made room for you either by lawful descent, or purchase, or gift, or other warrantable right? Why then, this Is the place God has appointed for you,. Here He has made room for you."

  5. 4 out of 5

    April

    I thought, even though I enjoy stuff like this, that even I would end up bored with it but decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised and have already started the next book in the series. Jack Cavanaugh, good work. You start off liking Drew and even identifying with him. Then you become very disappointed in him. You end up being his fan again in the end and even kind of admiring him. Of course some things work out well for him but not without his fair share of bad so it's not that fairy I thought, even though I enjoy stuff like this, that even I would end up bored with it but decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised and have already started the next book in the series. Jack Cavanaugh, good work. You start off liking Drew and even identifying with him. Then you become very disappointed in him. You end up being his fan again in the end and even kind of admiring him. Of course some things work out well for him but not without his fair share of bad so it's not that fairy tale storyline. Good thing too because those times were anything but even though so many have succeeded in doing just that. If you like historical fiction, I recommend this. I believe it would also satisfy romance fans and religious buffs. Just remember. It is historical FICTION. If your the type that wants complete accuracy at every turn, your in the wrong genre. Happy Reading!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gracee

    I have to admit I'm a sucker for a series. Especially a GOOD series. Especially a good Christian series. Don't be misled, this isn't to say there isn't any sex. Think of the 1950's movies where there was enough of an innuendo that you get the idea...It just proves you don't need throbbing and heaving to make a good story. This particular installment had a simple twist of murder and scandal. But it was still entertaining. The "hero" -- who starts out as a real creep, has an epiphany that is slow I have to admit I'm a sucker for a series. Especially a GOOD series. Especially a good Christian series. Don't be misled, this isn't to say there isn't any sex. Think of the 1950's movies where there was enough of an innuendo that you get the idea...It just proves you don't need throbbing and heaving to make a good story. This particular installment had a simple twist of murder and scandal. But it was still entertaining. The "hero" -- who starts out as a real creep, has an epiphany that is slow and doesn't come without a dead body or two.. I am eager to read the second in the series!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Bishop Laud’s crusade is to "prosecute to death" those he considers traitors to England. He hires Drew to act as his minion in this. Drew meets untold people in his "profession,"many of whom befriend him and many of whom he betrays. He is shaken by this since he's really come to like some of them. They feed him, and trust him, and love him and he in turn, turns them in. They then become branded - physically - on the face - both cheeks. Betrayal. Heroism. Trust. Sick Entertainment. Persecution. P Bishop Laud’s crusade is to "prosecute to death" those he considers traitors to England. He hires Drew to act as his minion in this. Drew meets untold people in his "profession,"many of whom befriend him and many of whom he betrays. He is shaken by this since he's really come to like some of them. They feed him, and trust him, and love him and he in turn, turns them in. They then become branded - physically - on the face - both cheeks. Betrayal. Heroism. Trust. Sick Entertainment. Persecution. Prosecution. Murder. Control. Execution. Done in the name of religion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Very interesting book. Great plot line and very detailed historical fiction. Cavanaugh obviously did a LOT of research before writing this book, and it shows. Surprisingly the majority of this book takes place in England, and gives a lot of insight into what exactly caused the Puritans to leave and become Separatists (and the reasons we have laws agains "cruel and unusual punishment"). Would definitely recommend if you like historical fiction

  9. 4 out of 5

    Keith Mitchell

    This was a great way to get a good feel for the conditions that lead the Puritans to come to America. The story was very interesting, and the character development was excellent, pulling me into their lives and identifying with them. Cavanaugh pretends to add suspense, but provides so many clues to foreshadow the mysteries that it is not difficult to figure them out well in advance. Nevertheless, it is still a page-turner!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Danhauer

    Excellent read. Very enjoyable. A garage sale find - I happened upon the first book in the series. Enjoyed this one so much I hopped on eBay and found the 2nd book - the Colonists. Looking forward to its arrival.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Becky Lake

    I love how he intertwined the fiction with the real history. He's a great story teller. He kept me turning the pages.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    After trying to get into this book a few times, I decided to give up. I have enough to read without plodding through things I don't care about.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Tagawa

    This is great historical fiction. It opens a series of books on American history--imagine a James Michener drawn out into a series and written by a Christian! Most of the action in this story takes place in England, where we are viscerally acquainted with the motives for those who left with John Winthrop in 1630 for Massachusetts. Some of the characters are real, some fictional, and I think it's done well. The author even makes the Archbishop--the bad guy--seem human. There are some violent scenes This is great historical fiction. It opens a series of books on American history--imagine a James Michener drawn out into a series and written by a Christian! Most of the action in this story takes place in England, where we are viscerally acquainted with the motives for those who left with John Winthrop in 1630 for Massachusetts. Some of the characters are real, some fictional, and I think it's done well. The author even makes the Archbishop--the bad guy--seem human. There are some violent scenes and so forth that make this story definitely PG or above.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    One of my all-time favorites series! A wonderful, historical, Christian saga.

  15. 5 out of 5

    SBF

    I wanted to like this book. It's a pretty good story, but the writing is weak. The author overuses words like "yelled" and "shouted". Does everything need to be said at full volume? I did like that the story didn't shy away from things that people do in reality: without any graphic description, it is obvious that men visit prostitutes, there are murders committed, one character correctly points out that at that time, it was legal to hit one's spouse, etc. Christian fiction is sometimes a little I wanted to like this book. It's a pretty good story, but the writing is weak. The author overuses words like "yelled" and "shouted". Does everything need to be said at full volume? I did like that the story didn't shy away from things that people do in reality: without any graphic description, it is obvious that men visit prostitutes, there are murders committed, one character correctly points out that at that time, it was legal to hit one's spouse, etc. Christian fiction is sometimes a little too sanitized, and protagonists need to make mistakes. However, the prose is perfectly safe to read whether you are a teenager or a grandmother. Outside of the protagonist (Drew), the bishop, and the two love interests and their father, most characters were one-dimensional. The villains are cartoonishly evil. Historical accuracy was fine from what I know about the time period, though I felt like I was reading through a modern veneer of what happened rather than being there with people of the time. The way characters spoke was a little too twentieth-century at times, though the author is nowhere near the historical inaccuracy of some Christian fiction writers I've read (or secular fiction; this is a problem across many genres). I thought it took too long for the story to get to the New World: I would have liked to have spent more time in the colony. I suppose that is for the next books in the series. I think ultimately this book suffers from my having read other series documenting a family's journey through American history (eg. the Sackett series by Louis L'Amour). It's hard to beat my love for those stories. For readers that aren't fussy about writing style, enjoy books in a series, and are interested in early American history, this series would be a good choice.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    This has got to be the worst Jack Cavanaugh book I've read yet! The plot was the basic plot to everyone of his other books but that's not what gives it the one star. This book is hardly 'Christian' at all let alone historically accurate! The Puritans did not behave as he portrays them (especially single women entertaining a single man). The main character is so involved in his lust over two women at the same time (but in his mind that's justifiably diff then his previous lust for prostitutes bec This has got to be the worst Jack Cavanaugh book I've read yet! The plot was the basic plot to everyone of his other books but that's not what gives it the one star. This book is hardly 'Christian' at all let alone historically accurate! The Puritans did not behave as he portrays them (especially single women entertaining a single man). The main character is so involved in his lust over two women at the same time (but in his mind that's justifiably diff then his previous lust for prostitutes because we all know desiring one that does it for money is bad and desiring one that doesn't do it for money is OK) The authors justification of loving one woman, yet physically loving another woman and everyone being OK with it makes me think this guy's got some serious polygamy fantasies! Why would anyone think that's 'love'?? I understand portraying the wickedness of the time but this was overboard. The fact that the main character the whole time is in this female obsession, the Puritans are portrayed as everyday people (not strict as they were known for), the plot was drawn out and seriously overused, the many innuendos, sexual references, this book isn't even staying in my house. It even portrays the Puritans as accepting Roger Williams but historically the Puritans banned him! I wish there was more time put into really understanding the Puritans of the time and less time fulfilling sexual fantasies. I definitely wouldn't let my teenager read it. I've read several Jack Cavanaugh books before and found them to be entertaining but this, like I said, was the very worst and I highly DON'T recommend it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shauna Johnston

    History alive on the page I have been researching my family tree for years and have traced my father's side to the first settlers, a devout family that was persecuted by English law, one John Rogers a martyr for his faithful work in helping William Tyndale write and print the bible in English. He was burned at the stake in 1555 , the very first Maryyr of Bloody Mary Tudor. It was his great grandsons, and great grandsons, the Stone brothers who left England. This band of brothers, carried their sp History alive on the page I have been researching my family tree for years and have traced my father's side to the first settlers, a devout family that was persecuted by English law, one John Rogers a martyr for his faithful work in helping William Tyndale write and print the bible in English. He was burned at the stake in 1555 , the very first Maryyr of Bloody Mary Tudor. It was his great grandsons, and great grandsons, the Stone brothers who left England. This band of brothers, carried their spiritual heri to light. My grandfather carried on their faith, from those generations, he was a minister in a long line of ministers dating to the start of our beloved country. This was well researched book, and the history and fiction were woven together beautifully.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paige Wilson

    Oh. My. Word. If u dnt feel like having your heart tugged, then dnt read this book. This book starts off slow to get you attach to the characters then it TAKES OFF. You read how Drew helps expose the Christian Puritans to Bishop Laud so they can be persecuted and sometimes even beheaded ! Drew finally finds God and his whole life becomes a plot twist! Amazing, inspiring story!!! Matthew 10:28 ~And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is Oh. My. Word. If u dnt feel like having your heart tugged, then dnt read this book. This book starts off slow to get you attach to the characters then it TAKES OFF. You read how Drew helps expose the Christian Puritans to Bishop Laud so they can be persecuted and sometimes even beheaded ! Drew finally finds God and his whole life becomes a plot twist! Amazing, inspiring story!!! Matthew 10:28 ~And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. This is the first book to the series “American Portraits” by Jack Cavanaugh.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    The mix of fact and fiction was very good. I Goggled Bishop Laud early on and it made the story even more real. Cavanaugh does a supreme job of putting together a story that is entertaining and also teaching history.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lewis Smith

    Very well written historical fiction - reminiscent of the "Kent Family Chronicles". Looking forward to reading the remaining books in the "American Family Portrait" series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Megan Schemenauer

    Excellent story with great historical detail

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    The bits of history were the only thing that propelled me to finish. Between the more tension-filled scenes, the story seemed flat.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Taylor

    The author writes a compelling story steeped in rich history.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jolene

    I have mixed feelings about this book. Most of the storyline itself is why I gave it four stars, but I think the writing could have been improved greatly. One of the things I appreciated was how much I learned while reading this book. I've always known about the Puritan cause on the surface, but this book brought a lot of new things to light for me. Also, while I could tell where the overall story was going, there were a lot of things that I didn't see coming. The author did a great job with an I have mixed feelings about this book. Most of the storyline itself is why I gave it four stars, but I think the writing could have been improved greatly. One of the things I appreciated was how much I learned while reading this book. I've always known about the Puritan cause on the surface, but this book brought a lot of new things to light for me. Also, while I could tell where the overall story was going, there were a lot of things that I didn't see coming. The author did a great job with an intricate plot and I was surprised with new things up until the end. One thing that was hard for me about the story line was the romance angle. I love romance, but the romance in this book was just a tad bit much for me. Another thing that was hard for me, as I already mentioned, was Cavanaugh's style of writing. -First, he went a little overboard on some of the character descriptors. For example, every time he mentions James Cooper, he uses the words red giant, or fiery giant. And other times, he doesn't use James' name but decides to use that adverb again. Most of the adverbs/descriptors were overused and used almost as a crutch when the author couldn't think of another way to introduce or describe another aspect of a character. -Second, the anachronisms were so difficult to read, especially in the dialogue. I wrote down so many things that just didn't seem like they would fit in with a story taking place in 1620s/1630s England and New England. A few examples: using the phrase idiot son, people being buddies and playing hooky, people saying "shut up" in conversation. Another excerpt follows: "'Thanks for reminding me that God's in control," he said, giving his friend a bear hug." I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this in the reviews so far. Some of them were just painful and hindered me/probably other readers as well from fully diving into the world the author was trying to create for us. I understand that historical fiction shouldn't be so accurate that it's unreadable for the audience, but there are ways to balance it out. All in all, I'm not sure about the 4 stars simply because of the major writing flaws. I might change it later. But I see the potential for the series and am still excited to read the rest of the books. I hope the writing gets better as it goes along!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    Public library book. I think this is my third Cavanaugh book. Not my favorite. I really didn’t like the book except the part when they traveled to the New World and landed in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Some of my ancestors arrived from England in the same time period, which made that part of the book come alive for me. And I have lived there, so I can picture it, although it was much more civilized when I lived there. It is a powerful story, intertwining history and fiction and faith. Without questi Public library book. I think this is my third Cavanaugh book. Not my favorite. I really didn’t like the book except the part when they traveled to the New World and landed in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Some of my ancestors arrived from England in the same time period, which made that part of the book come alive for me. And I have lived there, so I can picture it, although it was much more civilized when I lived there. It is a powerful story, intertwining history and fiction and faith. Without question Cavanaugh is a good writer. The thing I disliked about the book was the protagonist. His character is strong and evil, which is good in a book when the reader doesn’t see it as being real. I tend to live in the book when I’m reading it. Everything seems real to me. What do you think of the book?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Good, interesting storyline. It took awhile to get into it but once I did I liked. I appreciated the history about England and early America. I especially appreciated the history about The Geneva Bible, as my forefathers used this Bible. I heard a lot about it growing up. It was greatly revered. The history of the King James Version was also interesting. It is so highly regarded by some people and yet had such controversial beginnings. The storyline was gruesome at times but no doubt true. And a Good, interesting storyline. It took awhile to get into it but once I did I liked. I appreciated the history about England and early America. I especially appreciated the history about The Geneva Bible, as my forefathers used this Bible. I heard a lot about it growing up. It was greatly revered. The history of the King James Version was also interesting. It is so highly regarded by some people and yet had such controversial beginnings. The storyline was gruesome at times but no doubt true. And at its beginnings America meant hard living. I tried to imagine myself doing the same. I decided I'm way too soft. I'd never make it. I'm thankful for those who came and stayed.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kharissa

    I actually read the "victor editions" but I believe the book's contents didn't change w/ the new publisher (although I am not sure on this). HOWEVER... the book is phenomenal! the history is accurate but the story that goes along with it... very entertaining and captivating! It hooks you in until the end! I also loved the Christian teachings in it. I actually took some quotes from it for my note card collection! :) It's a keeper!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    An intense, involving, uplifting, yet rough historical fiction portrayal of what the Puritans went through, both in England and as they began to form colonies in the New World. A Christian book with a clear message about salvation and forgiveness, the author also illustrates the very horrible, terrifying things that sometimes happened without being offensive. This was my first book in the American Family Portrait series, and I hope to read more of them in the future.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alesha Leveritt

    This is an enjoyable novel. While it runs a bit long, it does tell an interesting story & there are no irredeemable elements. The Good: It's a good, wholesome read. You don't have to worry about your kids peeking over your shoulder while you read it. The Bad: It's a little cardboard-ish. The characters are a little shallow. The Ugly: The book is too mild for ugly. It rates three stars for being easy to read and holding my attention. This is an enjoyable novel. While it runs a bit long, it does tell an interesting story & there are no irredeemable elements. The Good: It's a good, wholesome read. You don't have to worry about your kids peeking over your shoulder while you read it. The Bad: It's a little cardboard-ish. The characters are a little shallow. The Ugly: The book is too mild for ugly. It rates three stars for being easy to read and holding my attention.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Don

    I had read several of the other American Portrait series prior to reading 'The Puritans'. Although each book is a great read in its own right, 18The Puritans 19 has provided all the background to the Morgan family 19s history, which has been alluded to in all other volumes. The historical characters included in each book and the manner in which fact and fiction are woven together makes this series a 18must read 19.

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