09 August 2013

Review of Lori Benton's Burning Sky by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Burning Sky


Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels
5 Stars *****

I received an ARC.  I cannot imagine what they could have changed from the ARC that would have improved the book. Nor am I under compulsion to give this book a positive review—but I'd dare them to stop me from doing so as I loved this story!

This book will or should win awards next year. Wilhemina “Willa” Obenchain was a 14-year-old girl living in a community in upstate NewYork when she was kidnapped and taken in by the Mohawks. She married and had two children but her family is now gone and she has walked all the way back to her family home only to find no one there—that is except a wounded man, and his dog.

What a beautiful tale that meanders at a perfect pace. The repercussions of war are felt by all. Willa’s Mohawk “brother” who has more than sibling affection for her still hunts deserters for the British and there is one hiding in Willa’s community.  Willa’s old sweetheart, Richard, who pursued the kidnapped girl for months, his hopes destroyed. Now an embittered man whose soul has been lost in his anger and bitterness at the loss of innocent Willa, the girl he loved, and now comes face-to-face with Willa the survivor, widow of a Mohawk and mother of two deceased metis children. Lori Benton also incorporated a special sweet character, a young man who may be autistic.
God brings Willa full circle.  While she has lost everything she regains much.

Bibliotherapy aspects: Almost all of the main characters suffers from Post Traumatic Disorder in some form but they all react differently.  Willa has withdrawn and is shell-shocked.  Richard is angry. Joseph seems a little perplexed and is possibly the most rational of the characters.  The hero not only is recovering from PTSD but he also has survived a scalping attempt that has left him with a brain injury causing him to be unable to read any more.   Neil MacGregor has had to reinvent himself, too, like Willa. When two metis orphans come into their lives you can’t help but root for the little group to become a family.

Excellent pacing and a book you’ll have a hard time putting down. And a very satisfying ending, which I love! While this lovely book has a strong literary feel to it, Lori Benton doesn’t pull any literary “gimmicks” that I’ve seen in other books that have off-put me from finishing the story.  Rather, she seamlessly weaves a literary book with a broad appeal to historical and romance readers in both inspirational and I believe in the secular market as well. Bravo, Lori!


GIVEAWAY:  Copy of Lori's novel in paperback or ebook (ebook only for international winners.)


43 comments:

  1. Everything - absolutely everything - I hear about this book is that it is spectacular! Oh the anticipation!

    rdalquis(at)css(dot)edu

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    1. You will LOVE this book, Rachael! I am going to try to start doing our giveaways tonight! Make sure you comment on each post for more chances to win.

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  2. What an awesome review, CARRIE! I so agree with everything you said of course, and am really looking forward to LORI'S next book.

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  3. I love this review, Carrie. Here's why. Though Burning Sky is at its core one woman's story of loss and healing, and I worked hard not to lose sight of that fact (so did my editor!), it's also the story of war's aftermath. One of my main intentions with this book was to explore the different ways men and women cope that level of devastating loss. I'm so happy it all rang true for you. Thank you for this review!

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    1. yes, I saw that! I loved it when ppl "got" my core story in my novella, too! Glad I hit it for yours!

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  4. I enjoyed this review Carrie! Seems like many of the books I have read lately it takes forever to really get into the story. I am almost tempted to put them down and the story finally seems to pick up about 40 or 50 percent through...

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Oh my I simply won't do that--time is too precious to waste on slow movers!!! This one sure isn't!!!

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  5. Great job CARRIE!! I always love reading your reviews and boy did I love reading this book.

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    1. TY! u know I don't do many but had to do this one! Blessings!

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  6. Hi Ladies. I thought your readers here might like to know (I just noticed this myself) that Amazon now has a Large Print hardback version of BURNING SKY available for Pre-order. It looks set to release in early December, from Thorndike Press. No cover image yet!

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  7. WOW Carrie! Such a great review.
    I'd like very much to win this book.

    Thanks for chance.

    Carolyn Jefferson
    carolynj63@att.net

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  8. Great review! I would love to win this book.
    God bless, Betti
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Betti, glad to see u hear and glad u were able to post! Blessings!

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  9. wonderful review. Would love to read this book!
    Thanks
    Rhonda
    rhonda_nash_hall AT comcast DOT net

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda! I think u will really enjoy it!

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  10. I just love the storyline for this book - so many wonderful & unusual characters & situations!

    Definitely will read the book, but hope I am lucky enough to win a copy! Thanks!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  11. This book sounds awesome! Wonderful review! Would love to win this book. Thank you for sharing and please enter me in the giveaway'
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  12. Nice review. Now, I'm curious as to what Carrie was referring to when she wrote, "Lori Benton doesn’t pull any literary “gimmicks” that I’ve seen in other books that have off-put me from finishing the story." I guess I'll have to read the book to find out. Ü

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Cindi, I consider a "gimmick" something like killing off a main character when it was out of the blue, killing off kids, having the heroine physically attacked, etc. There are other things but those are the main things that immediately come to mind. So a gimmick for Lori would have been killing off one of the kids and then justifying it by saying it was a literary device and she as an artist felt led to do so... Does that help? :)

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  13. Oh, I am so suffering anticipation... Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Wonderful Review Carrie on a wonderful book... still hoping to win ebook copy or another print.... might offer giveaway on my own blog for this one... My Mother is an avid reader and her bday is next month as well...
    The more I hear the more I want to scream.... Oh Lord get the book here soon....please...
    Linda's trying to be patient , honest I am....
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacres7@gmail.com

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    1. TY, Linda! u have been a winning gal this past couple of weeks! Yes, u will LOVE this book!!! It doesn't seem as long as it is, either!

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    2. It's on its way, Linda. I love your enthusiasm. Thank you.

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    3. PS: Linda won a copy of Burning Sky in another drawing last week, just so that's clear. :)

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  14. Carrie, you gave such a wonderful review of Lori's book that I hope so much to win it! The plot sounds so interesting and I love a real page turner. It would be great to read this book before Lori becomes one of the GREATEST of AUTHORS!
    Thanks for your review and this contest. Mary Lou K
    flowersmarylou85(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Sister Mary Lou, thank you so much! I try to cover bibliotherapy aspects. I don't do too many reviews. But I reallly wanted to do this one!

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    2. It fits that bibliotherapy theme well, I think.

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  15. Thank you for your fantastic review. I just know I'm going to love reading BURNING SKY.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  16. I would love to win this!

    Rebekah Gyger
    lotsofbooks1(at)live(dot)com

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  17. Great review!! I learned things that I hadn't in the other reviews that I have read. I definitely know that this book is on my "to be read" list - right at the top! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Sheri

    hspruitt [at] frontiernet {dot} net

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    1. Thanks, Sheri! Sometimes mine are a "little different" than the typical review. We have four awesome reviewers here on the blog who joined me after I'd been blogging for a while. And they are definitely better at reviewing than I am--but I do have my own unique twist. Blessings!

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    2. Hmmm. ok--well Random.org just selected YOU for our next winner! Right after I wrote this I did the drawing! Congrats, Sheri!!!

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  18. Wow, what a fantastic review CARRIE! I can tell this book is something special, and will definitely need to be put on top of my TBR pile to read as soon as I can!

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    1. TY! Yes, u need to read this--u will have great enjoyment from doing so!

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  19. WOW !! Great review !!!!!!!!! Thanks so much !!!! You never fail to amaze me at how descriptive you make your reviews !!!! You make the mind's eye see so much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! great !!!!! What a wonderful story and I can't wait to read it..
    I would like to be in the drawing please !!! Chicki rfoley@salemstate.edu :-)

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    1. Chicki, Great to see you here!!! Thanks so much and I know u will ENJOY this book greatly!!! Blessings!!!

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  20. What a fascinating plot! I'd love to win this! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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