At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?
I really enjoyed this book on several levels. I was excited to read another book by Lori Benton, because I thought her novel Burning Sky was great! Benton delivers another home run with The Woods Edge.
It is hard to choose what the best part about this book was. The attention to detail and craftsmanship of novel is impossible not to mention. I particularly appreciated the fact that Benton included words that I had to look up. I haven’t done that while reading a book in years! In the end, for me, it is all about the characters in a novel. It is hard to finish a book if you don’t really care what happens to the characters.
Benton has a gift for including a large cast of characters in her novel and writing them in such a way that you care about every one of them. There is also a lot of growth in her characters. Just when you think you have them all figured out and written them off as the good guy or the bad guy, they surprise you (kind of like people in real life). Benton writes characters that reflect humanity.
The only negative thing I could say is that the book started off a little slowly for me. There was a lot happening at the beginning and I was trying to get a sense of what was going on. However, it picked up and the momentum continued until the end.
This is definitely a book to be savored. If you are a fan of historical fiction, especially Native American fiction, you will enjoy this book. After reading my second Lori Benton book, I can safely say that I am a fan! Such great writing!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.