ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lori Benton spent her late teens and early twenties pursuing a career as a wildlife artist, attending the Maryland College of Art & Design before she began painting professionally. When not writing or researching, Lori can be found exploring the mountains of southern Oregon with her husband, Brian. Lori’s first novel, Burning Sky was nominated as an ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award Finalist and also received double nominations for 2014 Christy Awards. The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is her second novel.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?
Although set during similar time frames and in the same general area of colonial America, each of Lori Benton’s novels has been a unique read for me. I was instantly captivated by the pure poetry of the opening lines of “Burning Sky” and by the almost immediate action and suspense of “The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn”. “The Wood’s Edge” seemed to take me a bit longer to get into because there was so much background needed to set the stage for what would happen later. I am so glad I continued reading it until I reached a point I couldn’t stop.
“The Wood’s Edge” is an epic historical novel with a pre-Revolutionary War setting in and around Schenectady, New York. The story is shared through the viewpoints of several characters who all play an important part in the overall plot. I was actually puzzled for awhile by the prominent part played by Lydia during the early portion of the story since the back cover indicated that Anna was the primary character. In actuality, in my opinion it would be difficult to assign any one character the leading role because each and every one of them were extremely important to the narrative.
I enjoyed reading how each character, both English and Native American, was affected by one event that changed their lives forever. The grief, anger, guilt, and sacrifice were just a few of the emotions experienced by various characters. What a beautiful plot with such deep feelings! If only American History classes could be taught with this much emphasis on the human experience rather than the hard, cold facts. “The Wood’s Edge” is such a beautiful example of the power of redemption and forgiveness. I especially loved the unexpected twists that brought the message home in such a new way.
I fear that to continue would be to chance revealing too much and ruin the story for others. If you love historical fiction, you NEED this book! If you are not a history lover, “The Wood’s Edge” just might change your mind.