Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Burning Sky Book Review

SUMMARY:  I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life.  But who there will remember me?  What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.
     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 and she feels 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 or 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 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?

REVIEW:  This book is impressive and extraordinary.  The author does a wonderful job describing the difficulties Willa faced in returning to her former home after living with the Mohawk tribe.  The struggles are not only with trying to recover her parents' land and reputation but with herself.  When Tames-A-Horse brings Willa two children who are half-Mohawk/half-white to care for, Willa is forced to deal with the memory of the death of her own children.  She also struggles with loving again.  Her Mohawk husband had died but her heart had gone to her Mohawk brother many years ago but was forbidden.  Neil MacGregor shows Willa that she can love again, not just him but the people around her too.  Forgiveness and acceptance also abounds throughout this book.
     This is Lori Benton's first book and I think she did an excellent job.  She set the bar pretty high but I look forward to reading any future novels from her.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review without compensation.

Lori Benton spent her late teens and early twenties pursuing a career as a wildlife artist, attending the Maryland College of Art & Design before she began painting professionally.  When not writing or researching, Lori can be found exploring the mountains of southern Oregon with her husband, Brian.  Burning Sky is her first novel.

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