FANTASTIC DEBUT NOVEL!!!
Burning Sky is a novel about a woman who was kidnapped at the age 14 by Indians. Set in the late 18th century in the frontiers of New York, Willa Obenchain returns to her family's homestead after having lived among the Mohawk Indians for 12 years. She had been kidnapped when she was 14 years old and was raised as one of them and became an accepted part of their community, and eventually entered into an arranged marriage with an Indian man and had two daughters. After losing her husband in a battle and her daughters to an epidemic, Willa decides from now on she would live alone and care for herself.
On her way back to her childhood home, she comes across an injured stranger on the border of her family's land. When he wakes up in Willa's cabin, he is forced to stay until his broken arm heals. She soon discovers that this man, this Neil MacGregor, is a doctor and a botanist, researching and cataloging the plant life in the Americas. Neil realizes that with each passing day he comes to admire and love her more and more. Neil unleashes feelings in her that she is not ready to face.
I really can't recommend this book enough.This is a fantastic debut novel!
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review".
December 9, 2013
Amazing depiction of the captive, Burning Sky
Burning Sky by Lori Benton is a historic novel set right after the Revolutionary War. I wasn't sure what to expect from this story, but the plot sounded intriguing so I decided to go for it. I was drawn into the story from the very first page. The way the author writes for Burning Sky is such a mix of anguish and hope, stoic and vulnerable, love and emptiness. I was so drawn to her and her plight that I could hardly put the book down.
I was mixed about the two men who love Burning Sky. On the one hand, I wanted Joseph Tames-His-Horse to win her, and then other times I really wanted Neil MacGregor to get her! I waffled back and forth through the whole book even though I knew who she would get from the beginning. haha Now on to the synopsis.
Burning Sky was captured twelve years ago by the Mohawks and has since lived a relatively happy life among them. Now left all alone she travels back to her parent's home. Along the way, she finds an injured man who she brings with her. When she reaches the old homestead, it's nothing like she remembered it. Then she finds out that her lands are US property now since her parents were thought to be Tories. Determined to prove her parent's innocence and keep her land, Willa fights to get the evidence she needs before the auction in the fall.
Neil MacGregor is a botanist researching and cataloging the plant life in the Americas. When he wakes up in Willa's cabin, he is forced to stay until his broken arm heals. The longer he is there, the more he comes to admire and love Willa, but will he ever be able to break through her many defenses?
This historical novel is one of the best I have ever read. It was so real, and I loved learning some new facts about the Revolutionary War. I highly recommend this book!!
I was given this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
December 4, 2013
Such a great book!
The characters in this book are awesome! Willa Obenchain (aka Burning Sky) is a complex character because of the life she had to live. Taken at a young age by Mohawk Indians, she did what she had to in order to survive. She adapted to their way of life, never forgetting her heritage. So when all was lost to her, she decides to go back to the "white world" only to discover everyone she loved is gone. "I am the place where two rivers meet, sitled with upheaval and loss." - Willa Obenchain Neil MacGregor, despite his past, does not treat Willa like she's less than human (as some folks do because of her time with the Indians). Instead, he shows her kindness, compassion, and love. Is she willing to open her heart to him?
The story was good. I think I would have enjoyed it so much better had I not just finished a very similar book. It was also a little long, but not enough to lose my interest completely. At one point, I caught myself saying "how much more can this poor woman go through?!" I believe even the slow parts were necessary in order to understand each character and the situation at hand. The author did a great job in describing the time period, effects of the war, and the characters actions as related to their situations.
The message was one of trust. As Neil MacGregor, in his Scottish barogue states: "Dinna put your trust in men - not foremost. Men will come and go from your life, even those you love, some before you're ready to see them go. But I'll tell you this I've learnt: the Almighty loves you more than any man could, and He willna forsake ye. Not ever."
Overall, this was a very enjoyable book. I wish I would have read it at a later date, rather than right after another book with a similar plot. I would still recommend it to anyone!
**I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**
November 29, 2013
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.
November 8, 2013