Foreword Reviews

This Day Is Ours

An Epic Tale of Romance and Revolution

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Enriched by historical details and high-stakes adventures, This Day Is Ours is a masterful romance set in America’s early days.

Fast-paced and lively as an unbroken filly, Gretchen Jeannette’s This Day Is Ours is a Robin Hood-inflected romance set in Philadelphia and the American colonies during the early days of the American Revolution.

Alexandra knows a few things about men. Her six-year marriage, which ended with the death of her husband, left her material comforts that make her a target for rebels who are angered by their own poverty. With pamphlets like Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” circulating, and talk of independence brewing in every pub, Alexandra senses that it’s a dangerous time to be a loyalist and a widowed woman of means.

Alexandra has two would-be protectors, Charles and Dalton. Charles is wealthy, charming, and socially powerful; Dalton is working class, street smart, and posing as Jack Flash, a Robin Hood figure who targets and robs well-to-do loyalists. The men’s rivalry for Alexandra’s affection burns hot and complex as they’re each drawn into different roles in the revolution.

The love triangle is balanced throughout the novel. Alexandra is a confident, self-assured woman whose independence is also at stake. As rebels square off with loyalists, Alexandra defends herself as well, and chooses the man who celebrates her selfhood and her freedom.

A captivating, emotional romance, the book takes a traditional path, introducing its characters and the landscape of pre-Revolutionary Philadelphia in clean terms punctuated by excellent descriptions, as of “slanting sunbeams [that] dappled the immaculate expanse of woodlands with pools of gold” so that the “whole world seemed composed of snow—silent, silver, endless.” Exposition makes use of onomatopoeia to express actions, from hissing sleigh runners to exploding musket powder. The language is musical and sometimes salty, conveying the characters’ gender divides as well as class differences. Dalton, in particular, has an entertaining creative streak when it comes to curses and idioms.

Realistic historical scenes include excerpts from Revolutionary literature, words spoken by General George Washington, and battlefield tactics. The novel is true to the events of the past, though its focus is most often on the amber-tinged romance blossoming between Alexandra and her suitors. High-stakes action and accurate descriptions of field medicine result in just the right amount of bloodshed. The book is ambitious in scope, and themes of freedom, passion, and equality unfold within it through the domestic lives of its characters.

Enriched by historical details and high-stakes adventures, This Day Is Ours is a masterful romance set in America’s early days.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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