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Rebel Puritan (A Scandalous Life book 1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  50 reviews

Impulsively wed as a teenager to a husband she did not love, and she married three men, all for the wrong reasons.

Scarlett O'Hara?
Prosecuted and humiliated in public for an out-of-wedlock love affair.

Hester Prynne?
No, this was Herodias Long of 17th century Rhode Island.

Rebel Puritan is a 2012 winner of the Indie BRAG Medallion! To r
Paperback, 326 pages
Published February 28th 2011 by Neverest Press
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4.19  · 
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 ·  95 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Perry Haviland
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am an 1/1028 Herodias descendant via her first born Hanna who married William Haviland in Newport, RI ca 1657. Then five generations in NY, one in IA and the rest in CA. I learned of "Rebel Puritan" from the web site. I had not read for pleasure in decades and I must share that I shed a happy tear and felt a thickening in my gut in reading about the birth of Hanna. I am fascinated by the mix of storytelling with probable factual American history events. Reading the book, conne ...more
Richard Hale
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As an historian, I find that historical fiction too often dresses modern characters in period costumes, ignoring the fact that the people and times were different. In her novel, Rebel Puritan, Jo Ann Butler has skillfully solved the above problem. She has taken Herodias Long, a real woman from the American colonial era, and breathed life into her and the times in which she lived. I heartily recommend Rebel Puritan!
Gloria Gardiner
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book immensely. A deliciously scintillating story of a young girl who grew into a woman, wife and mother. I feel a strong connection to my great x 11th Grandmother, and I love the ‘rebel’ in her! I simply couldn’t book the book down and finished it way too quickly. Now I’m eagerly waiting to see what is around the corner for Herodias in book two!
Ginger Myrick
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jo Ann Butler has done it again!

I received an ARC of The Reputed Wife, the second book in this series, and was asked to read it first to assess how it worked as a stand-alone volume. I loved the book and found it indeed filled the bill as its own complete story. But once finished, I was not satisfied. The magnetism of Herodias Long proved too strong to resist, and I was struck with the need to find out what sort of circumstances forged an ordinary girl into such a remarkable woman.

I began Rebel
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Rebel Puritan is one of the best historical fiction I have read. The author holds your attention from the first page. The book cover the bubonic plague, servitude in London and then off to the colonies to face the hardships of everyday life. The book moves fast and does not drag in the historical areas with mundane facts.

10-30-2012 Just had an opportunity to hear Jo Ann Butler speak at our local historical society. She really made the characters of her book come alive. She spoke of her new s
Georgiann Fox
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about Herodias Long as the Rebel Puritan? She and I are definitely kin! Jo Ann captured my interest in the first paragraphs and I couldn't put the book down. I like the way she weaves the story with history and facts - I learned more about the time period and way of life than I knew before. The story kept me wanting more and satisfied that want. (except I'm ready for part 2!!)
Jo Butler
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Rebel Puritan is available at It is also available as an ebook at:

Thank you, Jo Ann
Virginia Wills
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent historical novel. I couldn't put in down very easily while reading it. The character just happens to be based on one of my ancestors.
Victoria Alexander
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Can barely put it down.
D.M. Denton
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
The opening scenes of 'Rebel Puritan' are a powerful reminder of how life teeters on the edge of change. This was even truer for our ancestors, especially those on the lower levels of society who were so dependent on the land, their health, and the stability of each other for survival.

In the first chapters, Ms. Butler engagingly introduces us to Herodias Long at the age of twelve as a headstrong, impulsive, even precocious girl whose childhood ends as her family is dealt a tragic—but not uncomm
Apr 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 17th-century
This is the story of the author's ancestor who came to New England in 1637 to escape a life of servitude.
Unfortunately she finds herself tied to a jealous and abusive husband.Also the puritan colony in Massachusetts is not letting anyone worship in their own way. This is hard reading as I hate to read about people being so mean to each other. At the same time, the details of the heroine's life and feelings intrigued me as well as the motives of those around her. This tale of domestic abuse at a
Tara Chevrestt
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wow. Throughout reading this novel, the first in a series, one thought constantly prevailed: "Is this chick ever gonna get a break?" It's one of those novels in which the reader's jaw just drops at how much the heroine must endure and as it's based an ancestor of the author with documents in the back of the book supporting the story, I was amazed that it's true. Women had it rough back then!!!

The story begins with Herodias as a little girl.. She's always trying to get out work. She just wants to
Helen Stewart
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was delighted to read Rebel Puritan since it is a story about my 9th great grandmother. What a struggle she had to survive!!!! At the age of twelve she worked so hard and being sent to live in London because her mother didn't want another mouth to feed. Surviving the plague was certainly a miracle. Living under such poor conditions drove her to marry at thirteen to John Hicks and they came to America. Such abuse from a controlling husband was such a struggle. Her second marriage to George Gard ...more
Justine Kelly
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
The cover and title of this novel are a bit misleading - to me, I thought the book would be cheesy and only checked it out because of the rave reviews on here. I'm glad I did. This is a great historical fiction novel - set in the 1600's, starting in plague-infested England and moving its way to Puritan Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I immediately felt attached to the heroine. The writing was very well done and character development was superb. For me, this book falls into the same category as t ...more
Lance Gardner
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From an unusual name, to an early marriage, a trip to Puritan MA in New England, early motherhood, an abusive husband, religious banishment to RI, abandonment by husband and removal of her children. Herodias early life in “Rebel Puritan: A Scandalous Life” weaves a revealing story of 17 Century views and attitudes toward women and their lack of rights. I found this a well researched and realistic novel about a strong woman from early New England. I would highly recommend this Historical Fiction ...more
Al Rose
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! Excellently readable, enjoyable, informative, historically accurate. A real treat for anyone who has an interest in early Colonial puritan abuses and/or the transfer of people from Mass Bay & Plymouth to Rhode Island in 1600s. The author does a great job of tying in real events to her realistic portrayal of believable details in the lives of many who fit the description as early settlers of Acuidneck Island (Portsmouth & Newport, Rhode Island). I bought four copies for famil ...more
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rebel Puritan is a fascinating work. Butler's historic preparation was clearly meticulous and comprehensive: she gleaned an amazing amount about the actual Herodias, and wove it into the social, religious, and political context of her day. Butler offers plausible interpretations of the decisions Herodias made, and draws her as a believable and sympathetic -- not perfect -- character. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to think about the people who were part of history.
Robert Alan Haviland
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic window into our past. For anyone who has paused a moment by an ancient gravestone, found an old record of their ancestor, or wondered what life was like in our country centuries ago, Ms. Butler paints a living picture around the dry facts. An incredible piece of work interwoven with the factual history of our country and culture.
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book very much, a can't put down book. I really liked the way the character was developed and how the author kept me reading to find out what happened next. I look forward to the next in the series. I also have to comment on how well reshearched this book is. I learned things I didn't know about that period of time. Thanks for a great story Jo Ann!
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A Scandalous Life: Rebel Puritan is a wonderful story is a believable blend of fact and "fill-in." In spite of a life full of hardships and adversity, Herodias kept going, had a family and (presumably) didn't complain. Life in the 1600's was a challenge for most people, Herodias rose to meet it, and set a good example for all of us!
Sue Shepherd
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed Rebel Puritan so much that thus far I have read it twice. Herodias was an incredible character with a remarkable life. This is an engaging piece of historical fiction which should be made into an ebook. Highly recommended to all who are interested in an absorbing account of life in Puritan New England.
Marilyn Henetz
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Superb book! I believe Rebel Puritan should be required reading in American Lit classes. A friend suggested I visit the Rebel Puritan web page, and I was impressed with the exhaustive research undertaken by the author. Butler is truly a master at weaving true events with fiction!

Lawrence Perras
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am not a big reader of fiction but I could not put this book down! Well written and very entertaining. I hope Jo Ann Butler finishes the next in the series, soon.
Christy English
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I gobbled this book in less than two days...I loved it! Highly recommended
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read very little fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Jim Borsari
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book. It gives a sense of the colonial times without glorifying or vilifying the heroine.
Rio (Lynne)
Jul 14, 2012 marked it as free-kindle-today
This is Susan Higginbotham's friend. She gave us a heads up. Free for 2 days 7/14-15 only.
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rebel Puritan is an exellent book. Jo Ann Butler did an amazing job of allowing the reader to vicariously experience the life of Herodias. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It is exciting to find a talented new historical fiction writer. I've been frustrated by the lack of historical fiction about America, but now I can look forward to Butler’s next book.
Kelly Murphy
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book! I planned to save it to read on my vacation, but I was absolutely unable to put the book down. Bravo to Butler for giving us such a fabulous work of “herstorical” fiction.

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Women's rights in the 17th century 1 1 Dec 12, 2011 01:05PM  

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A genealogist and one-time colonial archeologist, Ms. Butler has tapped her work in New England for her first historical fiction novel, "Rebel Puritan." She can be reached at