09 January 2015

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

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“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?

Like The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, Lori Benton’s Burning Sky offers an engaging story of the early-American frontier. In the midst of Revolutionary-War aftermath and racial tensions, Benton’s protagonist, Willa Obenchain stands in between two worlds, dealing with the pain of love and loss. Challenge after challenge comes her way, and as Willa faces them along with the unlikely characters surrounding and supporting her, Burning Sky proves to be a riveting novel with intensity in both action and emotion. Benton beautifully wove fascinating history with authentic characters, and I think it was impossible for me to not love this novel. Any fan of historical fiction will not want to miss Lori Benton’s Burning Sky.

Thanks to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of Burning Sky and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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