Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
“You separated yourself from His mercy, out of mistrust, anger, grief–I don’t know… You have crucified yourself, but that work will never be finished… It cannot be. You are not Christ.”
So many things gone wrong after Major Reginald Aubrey steals an Oneida woman’s baby on the day Fort William Henry falls in The Wood’s Edge, a novel so meticulously titled by author Lori Benton. All the momentous happenings that are leading up to the American Revolution are rumbling in the background like distant thunder while a more immediate storm is brewing in the hearts and lives of everyone affected by a newborn’s kidnapping: people of two different races, and a mixture of both.
As I did with The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, I appreciated Benton’s handling of racial assumptions and prejudices in The Wood’s Edge. The times and places of the story are easy to get into, and even the letters written, with random Words capitalized like Proper Nouns, are so reminiscent of the Eighteenth Century that you can almost see their elaborate script, drawn with the tip of a quill. The earnest and flawed characters caught up in this tale have the power to break a reader’s heart, in bad and good ways alike, and the novel’s climax, along with the bits of time preceding and following it, bears nothing short of utter power.
The only real difficulty I had with the novel was that much of it seemed to be…waiting. While sometimes the unexpected would come out of the blue, other times it seemed like something major was about to pop off, then I’d turn the page to find that a year or some years had passed, without that big “something” popping off after all. It felt kind of like a string of anticlimaxes that led to more waiting, so after the novel’s gripping opening events (all the more gripping for me, since I hadn’t read the book blurb, just dove right into the book), I wasn’t truly gripped by the story again until the last quarter of it. Still, the last quarter wouldn’t have had the same effect on me if I hadn’t felt any of the waiting beforehand.
Grief and rage can give way to faith, hope, and love in trying ways, and while I wasn’t sure for a while if I would continue on with The Pathfinders series, now after this novel’s full and expectant ending, I’ll be looking for the sequel in 2016.