©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Burning Sky

Willa has been away from home for twelve years, and now she is returning back to the only home she knew before she was taken by the Mohawks to live as one of them. As she is walking back, she happens upon a man who is wounded and without any means of transport. His only companion is a collie named Cap. She has no horse but she makes a travois to carry him back to the cabin where she will be able to take care of him until he recovers. It was a lot of work, but she eventually got him to the cabin and got him in so she could help with his wounds. This was her introduction to Neil MacGregor, and her introduction to even more adventures than she bargained for.

Richard Waring grew up with her before she was taken, and he wants her land to add to what will be his own someday. He tries to get her marry him so that the land will be his by default, and when that doesn't work he does his best to intimidate her and run her off.

Willa has a "brother" from her Mohawk years named Joseph Tames-His-Horse who finds where she is and brings her two children who were left without a family because of the war. At first Owl and Little Pine want nothing to do with her but as they get to know her and Neil, they begin to become more comfortable with her and over time even come to love her. Joseph loves her too and goes to great lengths to aid her and to make sure she has all she needs for herself and the children.

One of the things Willa needs is proof that her parents were not Loyalists, but instead were Patriots. A friend from town remembers Willa's Oma, Dagna Fruehof Obenchain, and spurs Willa's memory of a cousin living in Albany. Willa writes to Tilda hoping that Tilda could remember where her parents' loyalties had lain. If she cannot find the proof of their patriotism, her land will be auctioned.

Burning Sky tells Willa's story in a way that keeps the reader involved past the very last word in the book. Lori Benton is a skillful storyteller with an ability to weave in the historical scene without making it a history lesson. The scenery of the book jumps to life just as much as the characters do through the ups and downs of the story and only adds to it.

Five Shining Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a cabin no longer abandoned.

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