“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.
I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.
Yet memory of our land is a clear stream. I shall know it as a mother knows the faces of her children. It may be I will find me there.“
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?
Rich, evocative text creates a tapestry of images in this stunning debut novel. I easily lost myself within the pages and was always reluctant to return to the 'real' world. This epic novel isn't meant for a marathon read though, so I had to make the transition between centuries way too often. At 400+ pages you will want to take the time to savor every word. The historical detail is exquisite -- I swear Benton time traveled in order to draw on first hand accounts to lend authenticity to her story. :-)
My heart ached for Willa and a host of other characters. Prejudice is such a horrible blight in history no matter what the time period but I've always been touched by the treatment of Native peoples throughout North American history. I found Benton's portrayal of the People's dilemma to be a moving tribute.
A complex plot with plenty of twists and turns that left me gasping for breath along with a complicated romance made this a page-turning read. Burning Sky is just plain good! An exceptional book choice for historical lovers everywhere.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Burning Sky please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday November 10 2013. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!