Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Woods Edge, by Lori Benton (Christian Historial Fiction)

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, especially when it includes stories of our American Indians.  Author Lori Benton’s book, “The Woods Edge,” hooked me on the very first page.  Although a new author to me, apparently she is a well-known writer of Christian historical fiction.  This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but she is now on my favorite authors list because her storytelling is beyond exceptional – the characters finely woven together in the mist of well-researched historical events of the early New York frontier, home to the Oneida tribe and to the British colonials. 

The story begins as the white flag of surrender is raised over Fort William Henry, finally ending the six-day siege by the French soldiers.   During the fighting, noise, and confusion, the wife of Major Reginald Aubrey of His Majesty’s Royal Army, suffered 20 hours before giving birth to a son, who died within a few minutes of his birth.  Being completely exhausted by the painful labor, the Major’s wife Heledd fell into a deep sleep, not even looking at her baby and not knowing that he had died.  Fearing that, upon being told of the baby’s death, Heledd’s mind would not bear the trauma and that she would no longer have the will to go on.   Pacing in the hallway, holding his dead son, Major Aubrey glanced into another room where a young Oneida Indian mother lay asleep on a pallet, having herself just given birth to twin boys, one with fair skin and one dark.  Half out of his mind with worry and grief, and while the Indian mother Good Voice slept, the Major made a desperate decision to switch his dead son for the living fair-skinned baby.  Thus begins the story of lies, deceit, regret, grief, heartbreak, broken lives, love, and forgiveness.

I was blown away by the spirituality in this story, experiencing the faith journey of each character as an individual.  I felt as though I was actually witnessing salvation come to real people.  One statement in particular burned in my mind, when the second twin Two Hawks said about his salvation, that the Gospel covered him with the red blanket of Christ's goodness.  I was in tears at this point!  Now, I can hardly wait for the sequel, which will be released in 2016 called, “A Flight of Arrows.”

 My recommendation is, "You've gotta read it!"  So happy reading,

I received The Wood's Edge from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my unbiased review.