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’m a huge fan of everything that Lori Benton writes, mainly because she writes excellent historical fiction about a time period that is not often utilized (except by maybe Laura Frantz). I also love that usually one of her main characters is American Indian (yay diversity!). But, I will say that the “back of the book” though accurate wasn’t exactly what I thought. I assumed the novel would mainly be from Anna’s pov, but it wasn’t. There were about four other povs and Anna’s didn’t jump in until about 40%. This didn’t bother me, except that I expected something different. My thoughts:
What I liked:
The story. I love the idea of switching babies (ok, not really, but it works well as a plot device). I was completely invested in the storyline from the start.
The setting. The novel starts during the French Indian War and ends just at the start of the American Revolution. There is so much going on and yet you don’t get lost in the details.
The characters. All of them. I wanted good things for all of them.
The romance. I loved watching Anna fall in love. When she was with her guy, time stood still. They were friends first and when it became love, I was just so happy for them.
Spiritually, the novel dealt with having a relationship with Christ and how the grace of God can change lives. Also, it dealt with forgiveness and grace and how there is no sin you can commit that Christ has not already died for.
What I didn’t like:
I saw that this book was a series, but that fact registered like a blip on my radar…until I reached the 80% of the novel and realized that things were not going to conclude. While that was kind of annoying to me, I could deal with it because I like the characters. But, I really wanted a specific “thing” to come to a resolution and it didn’t. And that didn’t exactly make me want to read the next book, it made me angry (though I will definitely be reading the next book).
Romantic Scale: 9
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t want to put it down. I don’t mind that there is a second one in the sense that I really liked the characters and look forward to being put in their heads again. I’m just kind of irritated it will be another year before that happens.