Waterbrook Press, Apr. 2015
Reviewed by Diana Flowers
In The Wood's Edge, author Lori Benton has penned a mesmerizing, emotionally charged colonial era novel of forbidden love and dark, long buried secrets that transpire between two diverse families of the Oneida tribe and British colonists – and of the beautiful, young white woman who finds herself caught between both worlds.
A grief-stricken Major Reginald Aubrey takes it upon himself to switch his dead baby for one of an Oneida woman's newborn twins (one born white and the other brown) as both mothers sleep after childbirth. Fearing for her sanity, Aubrey places the white baby in the arms of his sleeping wife and they raise William as their own son. Major Aubrey's adopted daughter, Anna, dearly loves both her brother, William, and Two Hawks, an Oneida boy she meets in secret at the wood's edge. When the truth finally comes to light, an angry Oneida father lusts for vengeance as Reginald is wracked with pain and regret. When both worlds collide, will Anna lose all she holds dear, including her mysterious friend, Two Hawks? And will she ever be able to forgive her loving father for the haunting decision he made years ago?
When I first read the blurb for this spectacular novel I didn't see how this premise could work, but it does and realistically so! Ms. Benton is a brilliant writer and her research of this particular era in history is impeccable. I thoroughly enjoyed my trips back and forth to the Oneida village, and witnessing William's birth parents' point of view was intriguing to say the least. So much history in such vivid detail, but nothing at all like my boring history classes in school! From the very outset to the surprise twist at the climactic conclusion, I was completely enthralled by this poignant, hauntingly beautiful story of love and redemption. I already miss the stunning cast of characters, but am thrilled that many will be returning in the second book of the Pathfinder series releasing in 2016. Sure to win many an award, The Wood's Edge is on my list of 2015 faves…and it's only April!
GIVEAWAY: Two copies of The Wood's Edge will be given away to two blessed commenters on any of the posts this week! International entrants -- ebook only.