The Blue Cloak (2020)


About the Book


Book: The Blue Cloak

Series: True Colors #5

Author: Shannon McNear

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense; True Crime

Release Date: February 14, 2020 (eBook), March 1, 2020 (paperback)

Based on real events beginning in 1797 — Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend’s wedding only to watch it dissolve in horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims. How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?

Click HERE to pre-order/purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Shannon McNear is definitely one of my most favorite authors ever. I’ve said it in previous reviews, I will say it again: McNear cannot write a bad story if she tried. With that said, I struggled with The Blue Cloak. Not because it’s a poorly written novel. It’s actually superiorly written. I found The Blue Cloak highly engaging and fast-paced. I didn’t struggle with the characters per se. In fact, I’ve never rooted harder for a character than I did for Sally Roberts … er, I mean Sally Harpe (you’ll understand once you read this story). And, I didn’t struggle with the themes. They are timely and seriously thought-provoking. In all honesty, I 1000% recommend The Blue Cloak. McNear took a supremely ugly topic and penned an honest, historically accurate story that ends with grace and hope. And yet, I still really struggled. The ugly is so ugly, I find myself at a loss for how to reconcile Sally’s horrific experiences with the notion that God has a plan for good for His people.


Genesis 50:20 is the famous verse where Joseph tells his brothers, “…You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…”. When I read Joseph’s story I totally get this verse. When I look backward, I can easily see God’s hand orchestrating Joseph’s story and keeping him from great harm. Joseph does endure sad, rough moments, but God is there. After reading Sally’s story in The Blue Cloak, and looking backward, I’m struggling so hard to see God’s hand. I can see it clear as day for almost every other character, but I just can’t for Sally and that scares me. What does this say about me? Is my faith in God fake? Can I only see God’s hand when things are rosy and sunny and good? OR, are there just some stories we won’t understand until we get to Heaven and God explains them to us? I know God is good all the time. I know He is pure, perfect love. But today I don’t understand how He allows certain things. How do we stay faithful when very, very, very bad things happen to good, innocent people? I feel like knowing the answer to this question is pivotal, but today all I can do is go to God and tell Him that I am struggling to understand. Today, I’m a little angry, a lot brokenhearted, and downright unsure. I will have to take all these feels to God and let Him help me sort them out.

A true testament of a novel’s amazingness is how it sticks with a reader well after the final page had been turned, and how that novel forces a reader to wrestle with complex topics. Well, The Blue Cloak must be one of the MOST amazing novels ever because I will never forget it, and I’m definitely wrestling with some tough emotions and facts. As I stated earlier, I highly recommend this novel, but understand that reading this story may very well wreck your heart. I had ALL the feels with this one!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Barbour Books, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

14 thoughts on “The Blue Cloak (2020)

    1. The cover is stunning. And the story is amazing. But definitely for a deep day. McNear does a fantastic job of treating this story with respect and grace, but some bad is super bad no matter what. At least to me. I’m a baby though.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It doesn’t make you a “baby” to struggle with the horror of events like these! It just means you’re tender, and there’s no shame in that. ❤❤❤

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Shannon is exceptional. She said in her afterward that she prayed every step of the way. Such a hard subject to research but she did it very well!
    Finished it yesterday and need to do it justice in my review.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I too have enjoyed every book of Shannon McNear’s that I’ve read (which is quite a few). I want to read this one, once I get caught up a little more with my reading list! Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you SO VERY MUCH. This book was definitely my hardest ever to write … and yes, I’ve grappled (still am, some days) with that very question, of reconciling Sally’s story (and those of others) with God’s promise to redeem everything. I think … there are so many things we won’t understand until we step through the veil into eternity! But He promises all things work together for good. Not, all things ARE good, but they work together FOR good. God is too good and too faithful to not make that come true!

    And in the meantime, thank you again for such kind words in your reviews! .❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really appreciate the distinction you’ve made. Not all things are good, but God makes things work out for good. I need to remember that.
      And, thank you for letting me be part of your team. I really love your book!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The terrifyingly sad atrocities in this story, I must admit, have stuck with me. These are true stories of the past that still exist today, and in often more horrific ways. These things cause struggle within my heart. I can’t imagine the grief GOD feels.
    @shannonmcnear I have to agree with the Christian Fiction Girl: “A true testament of a novel’s amazingness is how it sticks with a reader well after the final page had been turned, and how that novel forces a reader to wrestle with complex topics.”
    You accomplished that amazing feat. Congrats on a story well told.

    Liked by 1 person

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