Thursday, August 16, 2007

The White

I should say at the outset that I'm a huge fan of historical fiction. This book is based on the story of real-life character, Mary Jemison, who lived near Gettysburg during the pre-Revolutionary period. Her family was taken by Indians, and Mary goes on to live among the Seneca, eventually settling in the Genesee Valley of New York.

The story, told in both the first and third person, is really a story of courage about accepting the past and finding peace, fulfillment and beauty in the present. Deborah Larsen does a beautiful job of telling this story--sometimes the prose borders on poetry: In later days the fact that I was a prisoner had not stopped the breeze nor the tubers which grow sequestered in the dark ground nor darkness itself nor the flutterings of moths nor the reedy songs of children nor the pungency of sage.

An enjoyable, fairly quick read. However, you need to be able to stomach a certain amount of Indian-related violence.

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