Spies and Tories by Rita Cleary
A Novel

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In war-torn New York in 1776, cannon and broadsides echo over Brooklyn as refugees clog the roads to Queens. Fear is rampant as British soldiers round up rebel sympathizers. But in spite of the danger, a young Quaker, Robert Townsend, enters the struggle for American independence. His father, wealthy merchant and ship owner, Samuel Townsend, has already been thrown into prison. Outraged by the careless administration of General William Howe, the callous treatment of the population, and horrified by inhuman conditions in British prisons, Robert becomes a spy. He poses as a loyal Tory merchant and journalist while he and his comrades subvert, smuggle and burn. The invasion penetrates Robert's childhood home in Oyster Bay where British Captain John Graves Simcoe is quartered. Lonely and embarrassed by the excesses of his own army, Simcoe befriends Robert's sister, Sally, and they fall in love.Meanwhile, secrecy and fear wear on the honest young Quaker. He finds comfo! rt and love in the arms of a fellow spy, a woman more daring and committed than himself. But she is married and his religious family condemns the union. Corruption, loss, capture and death stalk the young couple in this gripping novel of the Revolutionary War.

About Rita Cleary

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Cleary is a board member and Membership Chair of Western Writers of America, a member of the Authors Guild and Women Writing the West.
Published July 1, 1999 by Sunstone Pr. 380 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Spies and Tories

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The tumultuous events experienced by an ordinary man during American revolutionary times are the focus of western writer Cleary's (Goldtown) first East Coast-based novel. Robert Townsend, a courageous

May 03 1999 | Read Full Review of Spies and Tories: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Unfortunately, the two romances that dominate the story--those of Robert Townsend and Mary Drake, a spirited young married woman whose husband is sacrificed to the rebel effort, and of Robert's dynamic sister, Sally, who loves good-guy British Captain John Graves Simcoe--come to abrupt, unsatisfy...

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