Author: Lori Benton
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Author’s blog: http://loribenton.blogspot.com/
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
About the book:
Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.
When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.
Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage–the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?
I feel that 3 stars might be a bit harsh for this book. I did enjoy it. Mostly. And I feel that the book is well written. And it started out really promising. But it lulled in the middle and I found myself quickly losing interest. It seems like a book that is suppose to be really good. It just did not click with me.
I love reading books about native americans and the settlers on the frontier. I was so looking forward to this one! The beginning was beautiful. The characters were well developed and vividly drawn. It was quite easy to place myself into the story.
But around the middle the book started feeling long. At first I kept reading hoping it would pick up again, then I started skimming.
I already knew what would happen between Neil, Willa, Joseph, and the children. I mean, it was pretty obvious! There did not seem to be much happening at all. Just the endless waiting. Waiting for a letter from Albany. Waiting for Willa to open up to Neil. Waiting for autumn and the auction.
I feel really mixed feeling for Joseph. I really liked his character! And even though he has a beautifully heartbreaking ending, I can’t help but feel like he got the short end of the stick. He lost nearly everything he had. And what about his dreams? I kept waiting for something of that to come back up! I suppose I am to just accept that he was there for Willa when she needed him most, but there could have been more.
I wonder if I would have liked the book better if it was written in first person. Willa is the main character, but there were times where it was hard to connect with her. I found myself connecting better with Neil than Willa. I would have loved to ‘get inside’ Willa’s head. I know we saw some of her thoughts, but it was not written the way a book in first person would be written. I feel I could have connected with Willa better if I could see her better.
In the end I liked the book. It was beautiful and sad, but nothing startling or stunningly amazing. Just a good solid read.