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The Wood's Edge: A Novel (The Pathfinders) Paperback – April 21, 2015
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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“Meticulously researched. Alive and engaging. The Wood’s Edge is a journey through the footsteps of America’s formative years, with characters so wonderfully complex and a story of redemption so deep, only Lori Benton could tell it. I was transfixed from the first absorbing page to the last.” —Kristy Cambron, author of The Butterfly and the Violin and A Sparrow in Terezin
“From the opening scene to the last line of the book, I was captivated by The Wood’s Edge. Rich in history, with characters to weep for and to cheer for, this is a novel that will linger in my heart for a long time to come.” —Robin Lee Hatcher, best-selling author of Love Without End and Whenever You Come Around
“Open The Wood’s Edge and see the secret. Then, hold it—page after page—breathless. Rich in history and lush in story, Lori Benton’s novel brings to life a cast of characters in a tale that spans two generations, two cultures, two worlds. In an era underrepresented in Christian historical fiction, Benton takes on the challenge of presenting the message of faith in its purest form. Love, grace, rebirth.” —Allison Pittman, author of On Shifting Sand
About the Author
LORI BENTON was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, Christy-nominee The Wood’s Edge, and A Flight of Arrows.
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The first thing I noticed about this book (beside the fact that I was gripped HARD from page one) was that I didn't "notice" the writing. And that's good. I had read at least 60 pages before I realized that I hadn't stumbled over writing issues or flaws, which can be a distraction. It's full of delightful turns of phrase and evocative description. Reaching, meeting, or living at the "edge" of things seems to be a motif in this story. Lori Benton is not only a masterful storyteller, but a master word artist, which makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable read.
The family reaches Fort Edward and are taken into the McClaren household. Mr. McClaren is the local apothecary and helps Reginald heal from his wounds. Lydia Eve McClaren is fourteen and is taken with Reginald Aubrey as well as her father’s occupation (which is not considered suitable for a woman).
Good Voice was the white woman who was captured from the Indians. When she awakens, she receives help from Clear Day. He is the uncle to her husband, Stone Thrower. He helps her escape Fort William Henry with the twins. Once they are outside the fort, Good Voice discovers the dead child. She immediately knows that it is not her child. Good Voice remembers the other woman in labor and her last name. When Good Voice returns to the Indian camp, she tells her husband about the switch. Stone Thrower is then bent on getting his son back and revenge on “Red Coat Aubrey”. Unfortunately, Stone Thrower turns to rum for comfort. They name the remaining twin, Two Hawks.
After Reginald’s father passes away, he buys a farm in Schenectady for the family. Heledd is not happy. She just wants to go home to Wales. Heledd was always fragile and escaping the Indians did not help her mentally. She clings to her son, ignores Anne Catherine (the little girl they rescued), and stays inside their home (she is afraid Indians will be nearby). The book goes on to tell the story of how Good Voice, Stone Thrower, Clear Day, and Two Hawks continue to look for William as William grows up with the Aubrey’s. To find out what happens with Heledd, Reginald, Lydia, William, Anna, Good Voice, and Two Hawks, check out The Wood’s Edge.
The Wood’s Edge is an interesting story, but we are left without a real ending. We have to wait until the next book comes out to see what happens. The book is heavy on history and goes from 1759 to 1776 (the beginning of the United States of America). I have only told you a little bit of what happens in this book (the main story line). I give The Wood’s Edge 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the book (but did not love it) and will definitely read the next book in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of The Wood’s Edge from Blogging for Books (and Waterbrook Press) in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
I love Lori's deep research. I love her use of language. Archaic idioms ("In the past twelvemonth, her height had outstripped her weight.") add flavor and texture to the work. It's clear that she is deep in the story world as she writes--and she transported me there as well. Great job! I'm looking forward to a good soak in the sequel.
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