Burning Sky by Lori Benton
Published: August 2013
Publisher: Waterbrook Multonomah
“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.”
Thus begins the tale of Willa Obenchain, also known as Burning Sky. Willa was abducted by the Mohawk Indians at the age of 14. After spending half of her life with the Mohawk Indians, she returns to the land of her birth parents in New York’s frontier. The year is 1784. Farms have been burned; lives destroyed all along the frontier. Willa Obenchain has lost much that was dear to her, both in her present and past lives.
As she is en route to the farm she remembers from many years past, Willa encounters an unconscious man lying in the weeds along the path. He is seriously hurt, and she cannot bring herself to leave the man to die. Consequently, we meet Neil MacGregor, Scotsman and dedicated botanist from the East. Willa and Neil make their way to her parent’s homestead only to find it deserted.
Willa renews past acquaintances with the townspeople. Not all are happy to see her return. Richard Waring, a man hardened by war and loss of his first love, is trying to claim her parent’s land and have them declared Tories. Willa sets on a quest to disprove Richard and prove her parents’ loyalties while maintaining the land for herself.
Willa has encountered much loss over the years and has hardened herself against love. When her Mohawk brother, Tames-His-Horse, arrives to take her back to the Indian people, Willa is forced to choose the lifestyle she will lead the rest of her days. To complicate Willa’s decision, two half Indian children stay with her over the summer while they return to health and Neil MacGregor continues his healing process while under her roof. Neil relies on his strong faith to lead him in the right direction, and he helps Willa renew her trust in the Lord as well.
This book is an excellent historical fiction set on the American frontier. The characters are very genuine and evoke strong emotions in the reader. The plot follows an interesting path with enough uncertainty to hone the reader’s interest. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a great read and I will definitely read her next book, “The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn”, which is due out in April of 2014. Great job, Lori Benton! Thanks for all your hard work.<br>