Cover image for The tea chest
The tea chest

Physical Description:
xii, 439 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes discussion questions.
Geographic Term:
Hayley Ashworth's goal is to join the Navy SEALs. First she must return to Boston to confront memories of her abusive childhood. When she comes upon an old tea chest, she opens it and finds the remarkable story of Emma Malcolm, a 1773 Patriot sympathizer. Will Emma inspire Haley to fight for love, freedom, and faith?


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Boston, 1773 Emma Malcolm's father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma's heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer's assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiancée, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her--as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel's wife. Present Day Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chiavaroli (The Hidden Side) delivers an endearing tale of two women separated by centuries who are searching for guidance and strength. In the present day, Hayley Ashworth is determined to make history by becoming the first woman to complete Navy SEAL training, and also to move past her troubled childhood with a drug-addicted mother. Weeks before her training, Haley leaves California and returns to her hometown of Boston to reconcile with her mother. While home, she runs into her old boyfriend, Ethan, whom she hasn't seen since breaking his heart years ago, and together they find an old tea chest at a shop that appears to be from the Boston Tea Party. A document inside from 1773 reveals the chest's owner to be Emma Winslow, a woman caught up in the political scandal surrounding the Boston Tea Party. In a parallel narrative, Emma, from a Loyalist family, longs to have a say in her future and join the side of liberty. Fearing the unknown, she battles the thought of betraying her father to fight for a new country. As Hayley learns more about Emma and her brave struggle, Hayley realizes that anything is possible, even letting go of her ambitions. Organic faith elements and Chiavaroli's skillful switching between time lines separate this from similar historical inspirational romances. Fans of Francine Rivers will enjoy this. (Feb.)