Friday, October 11, 2013

A Writer's Review of “Burning Sky: A Novel of the American Frontier" by Lori Benton

{About Burning Sky}

[The blurb from Goodreads] Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?

Burning Sky currently has a rating of 4.56 out of 5 stars (from 86 ratings) on Goodreads.


{My Review} 
I haven't LOVED a debut novel as much as Burning Sky since Becky Wade's My Stubborn Heart came out last year and knocked me off my feet. 

Burning Sky isn't your normal kind of book. I think I knew this before even reading it, simply from what I'd heard about it... and likely the strange undeniable draw I had to a book named simply after its heroine. I wasn't able to get a copy to review, so I borrowed it from my local library. And now I'm going to buy it. I don't usually buy books. I'm not even sure if know the last one I did buy... I think it was North and South by Elizabeth Gaskill... over a year ago.

I'm not sure what to say. I spent two days straight reading this book. I stayed up until 2am on a Saturday night to finish it--despite the fact that I've been more tired lately than I've ever been (due to being at the near end of my first trimester) and I had to get up early for church the following morning. This tired momma didn't care. I just needed to keep reading. 

Burning Sky also included one of the best written Reader's Guides I've ever come across. Maybe it had to do with the deep places the author's characters had taken my heart along the way, but whatever the reason, it was perfect. Read it as well. You will not be disappointed.

Every word, every character and every emotion were just as I would have chosen myself... they were so true, so perfectly situated... Now I just feel like I'm babbling on and on... but really, days later, my heart is still so full of Burning Sky/Wilhelmina Oberchain, Joseph Tame-His-Horse and Neil MacGregor and the way their paths were entangled and intertwined to bring about God's best for their lives. 

I'm suspecting that this book is going to be hard to top for a long, long while.

Click here to read the first two chapters of Burning Sky!           


{About the Author}

Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace. 

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband – often scouring the brush for huckleberries, which overflow the freezer and find their way into her signature huckleberry lemon pound cake.

To learn more about Lori's trial-filled journey to publishing her debut novel and more "extras" about Burning Sky, visit her website here.

~ Dawn 


abigail louise said...

looks amazing! need to check it out! you are darling

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks, Abigail. It is amazing, especially for a debut author. :)