I’ve gone on record as saying that I love stories set in the early days of settlement in America, especially the settlements of Roanoke. The daunting task of going to a land you do not know, learning how to co-exist with the indigenous peoples and the balancing of religious “freedom” with totalitarianism all make for such compelling stories. Last year McNear brought us the story of Elinor, daughter of the governor and her adjustment to the new land. We do get more of Elinor’s story in this one, but I’ll not go into detail so there are no spoilers but her story plays in well with Mary’s.
This is the story of the settlers as they learn the harshness of the land and how to truly live with The People. This story explores the true mixing of the two peoples. How they spread Christianity (before the more oppressive missions) and how the groups considered inter-marriage. We see Manteo’s daughter, Mushaniq, grow from a precocious young girl in her tribe to become friends with George Howe, a young English boy. The two fall in love and explore the rituals each group of people has in order to usher them into adulthood and to be worthy of marriage.
Mushaniq is a fabulous protagonist, she is strong willed and appreciative of her people and yet open to change and hope for what a woman could be. I liked the exploring of the politics between the people and the good and bad of religion guiding one’s life choices. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Barbour Publishing for access to this novel via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own. This one publishes tomorrow so add it to your TBR!
What’s on your TBR this weekend?