Monday, April 27, 2015

The Wood's Edge (The Pathfinders) - Lori Benton

The Wood's Edge (The Pathfinders)
Lori Benton
WaterBrook Press, Apr 21 2015, $18.99
ISBN: 9781601427328

In 1757 Upstate New York, after six days of a siege, Fort William Henry’s His Majesty’s Loyal American Commander Monro surrenders to the French.  Major Reginald Aubrey ignores the humiliating defeat since he grieves a more personal loss.  Instead Aubrey’s mission is to bury his newborn son.  However, as he goes out on his task, Reginald notices a sleeping Oneida woman holding two babies.  Rationalizing she does not need two living children, he replaces one of her boys with his deceased infant and takes William as he calls the lighter skinned one home with him.  He also finds an orphaned baby girl Anna who he brings with him too.

Reginald and his wife Heledd raise the two infants as their own though no one including his spouse knows that he abducted their son from their Oneida mom Good Voice.  Years later Anna and Two Hawks, whose parents still mourn a loss, secretly become friends. 

Lori Benton’s third Colonial Era Christian drama (see The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn and Burning Sky) is an electrifying historical.  The pivotal abduction weighs heavy on both families; with Stone Thrower and Good Voice grieving the loss of one of their children, and their one living offspring feeling their anguish; while Reginald suffers guilt, Heledd chooses ignorance to the truth, and their two kids sense something not right.  After an awesome beginning, the storyline slows down somewhat especially with the unlikely friendship, but closes with an incredible finish.

Harriet Klausner

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