Top positive review
154 people found this helpful
An Honorable Conclusion, Grown from Seed
on December 31, 2009
At the beginning of his novel, White Seed, author Paul Clayton dedicates the work to Clavell, Michener and Follet, three writers of grandly landscaped, historically supported fiction. He doesn't disappoint.
For readers of American history, the barely known chapters, of Raleigh's ill-fated experimental colony have always sparked conjecture. White Seed does an admirable job in bringing together the realities of the late 16th century including class warfare, global politics and incomplete understanding of the reasons for exploration and colonizing the New World.
These powerful forces, often at odds, are fleshed out perfectly within the characters of this novel. White Seed leads the reader into the lives of indentured colonists, the landed gentry, the gang-pressed soldiers, poorly chosen leaders, the New World itself and those who pulled the strings affecting all their lives.
I was particularly appreciative of the full, rich characterizations of Native Virginians, who play major roles in this tale. The book held my attention and was an easy, very enjoyable read filled with emotion. It accurately expressed the longings and failures of each character without creating cardboard cliches. The scenes of conflict were also intimately crafted, very satisfying and completely without the excesses expected from the Hollywood treatment of warfare.
The fate of the colony, though foreshadowed early on, reaches a satisfying and very believable conclusion based, in part, upon reported witness accounts and thorough research. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good period read and particularly those who have always had questions regarding our earliest colonial history.