September 23, 2012

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

Horse movies, horse stories, I'm bound to be caught up by either.  And I actually watched the associated movie while reading this book.  And enjoyed both of course.  After all, Seabiscuit is such a heartwarming story about courage and never giving up, it kind of embodies the American spirit.

Hillenbrand takes the story of Seabiscuit and turns it into a history tale that you'll be glad to enjoy.  Seabiscuit of course is the little racehorse that noone thought would amount to anything, until he was turned around by three very unique men.  Those men being Charles Howard, the owner, who took a handful of change and made himself into a millionaire.  Tom Smith, a cowpoke turned horse trainer who didn't say much, but knew his way around horses.  And Red Polland, the jockey who would connect with Seabiscuit on such a level that he couldn't help but win races.  There were other supporting people of course, like Howard's wife and the other jockey George Woolf and they too played their roles in Seabiscuit's success.

Hillenbrand does a great job of telling us about the people in this book.  She found quotes about them and from them and used it to really define how they were in real life.  I can totally see them acting the way she says they did and when you read other accounts of Seabiscuit, it lines up.  Especially Smith and his quiet manner and it was well known that Howard liked the spotlight and publicity.  But then there was Seabiscuit too.  We'll never know what that horse may have been thinking while racing, but I think Hillenbrand does a great job of describing his spirit and what could be going on with him.  She doesn't assign any thought or speech to him of course, but the way she describes his running seems authentic and well done.

The history was well researched.  The appendices and explanations at the back show that much.  She spent a lot of time researching for this book and undoubtedly that's why the movie was made off of this one.  She also ties all the people's and the horse's history together so that it weaves as one and isn't too jumbled around.  It does get to be a little too much information in some parts and drags a bit, but this seems to only happen in the beginning of the book and it moves with a much better pace later on.  I also loved the pictures she included of Seabiscuit, the other horses, and even some of the jockeys and other people in Seabiscuit's life.  It really added to the book since you could see exactly what everyone looked like, albeit in black and white.

A well researched book about a remarkable animal.  Seabiscuit is definitely one of my favored historical figures even if he is a horse.

Copyright 2001
326 pages

September 17, 2012

The Revelation by Beverly Lewis

The Revelation is the fifth and final book in the Abram's Daughters series by Beverly Lewis.  As it is the fifth, this should not be the book (or review) that you start the series with.  Go back to the beginning, otherwise not much will make sense.  Lewis does a little recapping in her novels, but not near enough to cover the detail of the previous four books.

With the return of Jonas, Leah is beside herself with happiness.  Even though the Bishop puts a strict proving time on Jonas to allow him back in the fold, they are certain they can wait it out and finally be together at least.  The same is not true for poor Lyddie though, her love can never be because of a secret that was kept hidden from the community.  Meanwhile, Hannah struggles with depression and wanting to be a healer, despite her family's thoughts on the matter.  But her sister Mary Ruth is enjoying her time as a new mother and her Mennonite husband.  They all have their different dreams, but some are easier to achieve than others.

Leah is still my favorite character, which is a good thing since she's the main character.  And it was nice to finally see something good happen to her.  It only took four books.  Jonas is just as nice in this book although he's never held my interest the way Leah has.  Hannah, I just wasn't sure what to make of her in this book.  She waffles between feelings so quickly it's like Lewis just decided she needed some strife and then just as quickly decided against it again.  Lyddie I didn't really care for too much in the story.  It's not that she's a bad character, I just didn't get drawn into her storyline as much.  And then there's Peter Mast, the father of Jonas, I can't figure him out or his motives for the life of me and it's never really explained.   So that was just plain odd.

I was very glad to see all the different storylines tied up at the end of this novel.  And it was a very nice ending, although I won't describe it and ruin it for the readers of this review.  Once again though, this book was exceptionally preachy.  It's understandable that there will be Christian elements when you read an Amish fiction book, that's perfectly acceptable.  What's not acceptable is shoving it down the reader's throats, which is what Lewis does in this book.  She's got a pretty big opinion on what equals the proper way of practicing faith, and doesn't hesitate to make that clear.  It just really detracts from the rest of the book.

I'm not going to delve into Lewis' books again anytime soon.  I was entertained by this series, but need to just give it a break for awhile.

The Revelation
Copyright 2005
343 pages

September 16, 2012

The Prodigal by Beverly Lewis

The Prodigal is book four of Lewis' Abram's Daughters series.  If you haven't read any of the others in the series, I highly suggest that you stop reading this review and go start at the beginning.  This series has a continuing timeline and is not meant to be read out of order. 

All the Ebersol children are back in Lancaster area.  Sadie, having returned after being widowed is doing her best to repent with the church.  Mary Ruth is nearby, living the life of a Mennonite and teaching while her sister Hannah is married to the blacksmith and being a dutiful Amish wife.  Leah is still single, living with her father and raising the youngest two siblings as she promised to her dying mother.  All of them still have some secrets though, and quite a bit of them can be more surprising than they would ever guess.

Leah actually took a backseat in this book in my opinion.  She's still technically the main character, but not a lot happens with her.  It's focused on the younger kids this time, which is fine, but I just wish for some happiness for her.  The younger kids I just don't care for as much, they don't grab my interest and I honestly find them kind of selfish after reading about Leah so much.  Abram, Leah's father, is better in this one at least and he's a character that I'm starting to grow fond of whereas I used to not care for him at all.  Meanwhile, the opposite is true for Hannah's husband, who I used to like but now has become very unlikable.

The plot doesn't really go anywhere in this one.  There are new secrets revealed, but that's about it.  Nothing big happens and it is more the characters interacting with each other.  Normally I wouldn't care about that but since the majority of the books in this series has been like that, it seems to me that this could have easily been a trilogy instead of a five book series if a lot of the fluff had been cut out.  This one was also extremely preachy and you couldn't turn around without a character praying.  I'm not against prayer, but the method it's pushed at you in this book (with the hint that it's the correct way to pray) it just gets grating.  I'm perfectly accepting that Amish fiction usually equals Christian fiction, but there is an elegant way to do it, and this is not the way.

I'll still read the last book.  I have to see how it ends after all.  But I may shy away from Lewis for awhile after this series.

The Prodigal
Copyright 2004
343 pages

September 14, 2012

The Sacrifice by Beverly Lewis

The Sacrifice is the third book in the series of Abram's daughters. If you haven't read the first or second, go back and start at the beginning, this review will be useless to you otherwise. These books are not the kind you can read on their own, they have to be read in order. That being said, I wasn't so thrilled with the first two books, but with this third book, I am beginning to warm up to the series.

Having not gotten to be with her Jonas, Leah has settled into life being an unmarried woman with her family. The neighbor boy, Gideon, has renewed his interest in her but all too quickly events in her life cause even that relationship to be placed on hold indefinitely. She's made a promise to her mother, and that must come first. Meanwhile, Hannah is accepting her role as an Amish woman and joining the order, but it comes to her great sorrow that her twin sister isn't doing the same. Instead, Mary Ruth has decided to pursue her education, something that is frowned upon in the Amish community, and it causes yet another breach within the family.

Leah is still the best character, and thankfully she's the main character so we get to see quite a bit of her. She's a bit of a martyr though and just once I would like to see something positive happen to her. At least in this book though we get to see a little more of the twins and what's happening in their lives. Leah's father Abram is still his surly self though and I really can't bring myself to like him. Her sister Sadie and old beau Jonas are hardly mentioned at all in this one, although they remain a reminder of Leah's sorrow in the background.

While this one was still just moving the plot along, quite a bit happened. There was also a lot of sorrow and moving scenes in this book too, I felt myself tearing up at quite a few parts. Mostly because I was worried about Leah and her future. The time line in this book jumped around a bit too. By several years a time, so that was a little frustrating to try to keep track of how old all the characters were, but after awhile I got used to it. I do have to say that this book was just as preachy as the last one in regards to the religion and author's beliefs. I'm well aware that I'm reading a Christian fiction book, and some of that is to be expected, but I've read some authors who do it so unobtrusively that it kind of spoils me for when others just kind of lay it all out there without any thought to it.

I look forward to the next in the series. I can kind of guess where everything is heading, but I still enjoy the books anyhow.

The Sacrifice
Copyright 2004
347 pages

The Betrayal by Beverly Lewis

The Betrayal is the second book in the Abram's daughters series. If you haven't read the first book go back and start there. This is definitely the kind of series that is supposed to be read in order.

Leah is having a hard time with herself, keeping her sister Sadie's secret. Even though her Aunt knows too it weighs heavy on her heart. She has her beau Jonas to to take her mind off things and also plan the wedding. But even things with him aren't rushing along quite the way they're supposed to. Not to mention her father still would rather see her with the neighbor boy. Meanwhile, the twins are trying to figure out their lives, and Mary Ruth has been caught with her books. She wants desperately to learn, but in this family it doesn't seem to be a possibility.

Leah is about the only redeeming character in this book. She's the only one who seems to be honest and has a heart. The rest have their own agendas and can be so selfish and horrible that it's hard to believe they're real people. Sadie especially I can't stand. I know I'm supposed to feel sorry for her but I just can't. The twins, Leah's mother, and a good portion of the other characters are written kind of flat, and don't really have a great deal of time or personality in this book. And Leah's beau Jonah, well I liked him in the first book but am completely perplexed by him in this one. His decisions just do not make sense.

This plot was merely filler. Since there's five books in the series I'm almost horrified that the story is going to be stretched that long. There's just a lot of added fluff that takes away from the main plotline of Leah and her love life. And while I am eager to read the next book to find out what happens, I can't help but wish it would get there a little quicker. I do have to say that this book was considerably more preachy than the first one. I know these are considered Christian fiction since they are Amish fiction, but the use of religion was extremely heavy handed in this one. Lewis made her point and then some.

I'll keep reading of course. It's a decent story and I want to be there for the end of it. I just hope it starts to follow a more logical course.

The Betrayal
Copyright 2003
358 pages

September 13, 2012

The Covenant by Beverly Lewis

I like Beverly Lewis, she always seems to have an interesting story to tell about the Amish. Unfortunately though she does use the same formula when she creates her books, so even while you enjoy reading them, you know what's going to happen, and that detracts a little bit from the book. The Covenant is the first book in a series titled "Abrams Daughters" and as you may have guessed it, Abram's daughters are the ones who feature.

Sadie is in her wild time and is certainly taking advantage of it. She's fallen in love with an Englischer and her sister Leah can only watch and shake her head at her sisters worldly ways. Leah meanwhile is coming into her own time of courting and worries that she wont' find someone as she's been working as the "son" on the farm helping her pa with the chores outside and never really learning to be a good wife. She also has her eye on a different boy than the one her father wants her to be with. The twins have their own issues, but as they are younger, their love life is not centered on them. One wants to be a teacher, but they don't get an education past eighth grade, and the other knows that she is destined to remain Amish. All the girls pass a year discovering themselves and learning, and keeping their own secrets.

Sadie to me was the most believable character. Kids that age make mistakes and she certainly makes quite a few according to the rules of her society. And she doesn't even regret some of them, which is human. Leah however, I started out really like her, but then she had an abrupt personality change and it just didn't seem authentic. To be such a tomboy and then stop, well I suppose it's possible, but not really likely. At least her boyfriend seemed like a sweet guy. The twins we don't get to see very much so I was never able to develop a connection with them. All together the characters presented an interesting story, but if you looked hard at any one, they just were a little less than a whole character.

I thought the plot was interesting; seen many times before in Lewis' stories, but with a couple of twists in it. She has an unfortunate habit of ending the book without a satisfying conclusion in it though, so you have to read the next book. These definitely aren't stand alone reads and while I can admire a series, I think it's always good to have each book feel a bit complete, so that if you can't get a hold of the next in the series you don't have that much suspense. But I guess that's what draws the readers in and keeps them coming, so I can't fault her too much for it. The writing style of this one stays mostly with Leah but does switch to the other girls once in awhile to see things from their point of view (but still 3rd person narrative) and it can make it a little confusing sometimes to determine which sister you're with.

A pretty good start to the series, not as good as some of the others but I will pick up the next book in the series and read it. As far as Lewis goes, this is one of her more average tales. Should be interesting to see where the story leads.

The Covenant
Copyright 2002
318 pages

September 10, 2012

Gap Creek by Robert Morgan

Wow, I've never really delved into the whole Oprah's Book Club thing, but this one had it blazoned on the cover, and it sounded like an interesting enough premise.  I'm not sure I'd read one of her suggestions again after this.  I was absolutely horrified at some parts.

Julie has had a tough but loving upbringing.  One of many girls ( a brother died young) she becomes accustomed to taking care of the family after her father falls ill.  Then, one day, along comes handsome Hank who proposes to her within a week and whisks her away to Gap Creek.  Here she is to be a housekeeper for the man they are staying with while Hank works in town.  But a series of hardships befall them and test this young marriage out.

Julie was an ok character.  She wasn't really believable, but at least she was admirable.  Hank on the other hand.  I really despised Hank.  Not only was he an idiot, but he was an abuser as well, physically, mentally, verbally.  He was the whole "package" and not in a good way.  And yet we were supposed to feel urges of sympathy for him through Julie's eyes.  Although she presented with the feelings and emotions of an abused person so I guess that part was accurate, although hardly what I think the author was going for.  Hank just ruined the whole book for me though, I kept hoping that Julie would leave his sorry self and that's when the story would get started.  And since those two were the bulk of the characters in the book, there weren't even redeeming side characters to appreciate much.

Not a lot actually happens as far as big events in this book.  It just details the tough time that Julie and Hank have in their marriage with acts of nature, troublesome neighbors, and meddling inlaws.  Not to mention the fights between the two because of Hank's insecurities.  I can't deny that the book wasn't well written.  It was well done in terms of use of language and writing style, the voice of the novel and accents were accurate, but the content was not ok.   And it was a very very sad tale, with barely any light at the end of the tunnel.

I just couldn't bring myself to like this book and will probably steer clear of Morgan if I come across another of his books.  I just couldn't align myself to the way he presented his characters.

Gap Creek
Copyright 1999
326 pages

September 09, 2012

Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini

I've read all the Elm Creek Quilt books, in order. That being said, it isn't necessary to do that when reading this book. I'm not actually sure why this one is tagged as an Elm Creek Quilts novel at all. Except for a slight relation to one of the other characters, which wasn't even presented as important, this book was so far from an Elm Creek Quilts novel to be considered one at all.

Rose (aka Rosa) has always been in love with Lars. But because of his drinking and other issues that arise with their relationship, she ended up married to John instead. John is an abuser, and father to six of her eight children (and not all those children alive) and so he lashes out in his anger at her betrayal as well. When he becomes too dangerous, Rosa and her remaining four children run away with Lars. This is partly to save her, but also to try to help her children that have a mysterious sickness get better. They end up in wine country, and learn just how Prohibition is destroying the grape farmers there and become a part of more than they would have bargained for.

I just didn't really like Rosa. She was a victim of abuse, and I feel for her on that aspect, as noone should ever be abused, but I also didn't like the way that she treated people. She was unfair to her husband even before he became an abuser and while he was a horrible man for being an abuser, one wrong does not deserve another. Lars was also kind of lackluster for me, he didn't seem to care about too much and rather let his whims carry him for most of his life. The kids were all kind of secondary, you never really got a big feel for their personalities other than a few of them were sick and Rosa worried about them dying. There just wasn't anyone to connect to in this novel.

I thought the Prohibition theme was interesting but the way Chiaverini wrote it was long and drawn out. It actually took up the biggest part of the book aside from Rosa's love triangle. And there was barely any mention of quilts at all, which since this is an Elm Creek Quilts novel, is inexcusable. It's fine to write a book like this, but don't market it under that brand if that's not what it's about. I also found Rosa and Lars escape very unrealistic. Everything was just kind of handed to them and it was so easy for them to get what they wanted. Not to mention everything gets tied up neatly with a little bow at the end; things rarely work out that way in real life. She was so gritty and realistic in her descriptions of abuse and rape, that it really surprised me she would fall out of reality for everything else.

A disappointment for me. I wish it had been a stand alone book rather than marketed as an Elm Creek Quilt novel so I could have stayed away from it. I couldn't have even given it good marks then though due to the choppy fast pace and unrealistic happenings of the main characters.

Sonoma Rose
Copyright 2012
401 pages

September 08, 2012

The Wedding Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

I've faithfully read every one of the Elm Creek Quilts books in order. And this is the latest installment. While a lot of these could be read stand alone, I think too much background information is lost to read it that way if you plan on reading the entire series. Although, it seems that with each book Chiaverini gets further and further away from the comfort of the first books.

It's several years into the future and Sarah McClure's daughter is getting married. As she prepares for the wedding at Elm Creek Manor, Sarah reminisces back over the previous twenty five years to when the twins were born and certain events that happen during those years. Most notably, a lot of time is given to the saving of Union Hall from development and it's place as a historic building on the register to protect it. The Elm Creek Quilter's were a big part of that and she goes on to describe how it happens. There is also a long sequence on the birth of the twins and little snippets of other stories here and there interspersed with greeting guests for the wedding and working on a surprise quilt for her daughter.

Even though I knew all the characters in this book, I have to say, they just didn't feel like themselves. Sarah has always been a bit standoffish to me but in this book she completely didn't seem herself and more like a stranger. Her husband Matt was even worse as I couldn't bring myself to like him at all. Sylvia was absent, what with it being twenty five years in the future and her an old lady in even the original books, and many of the other characters were departed or unable to attend due to age. It was rather depressing actually. Sarah's children I felt no connection to as we were rushed through most of their childhood and only got glimpses of them in this book. So I really didn't care about the wedding at all since I didn't know the character. While some of the old characters were glimpsed in the flashbacks by Sarah, those were the only times that I really felt connected to the book and they weren't near long enough.

Because of all the flashbacks the book was terribly hard to sink into. It was jarring to read and I would have preferred that Chiaverini actually take the time to take all these events and make their own book. Starting this far in the future made it seem as if she is done with the series and that's all fine and dandy if she is, except that I know there's another book after this one. So it will be interesting to see what that contains since everything else is wrapped up in this book. At the very least it may signal that she's done with this particular set of characters, which will be disappointing as I didn't care for her historic forays in the series that much and that seems to be what will be left in the series. There was very little about quilting in this book as well and while a sub plot was started up about quilting, I never actually saw the ending too it, although it could have been lost in the confusion of the subplots I suppose. I wanted so much to like this book in spite of the ending of my favorite characters, but even the writing style left much to be desired.

Just not the book I thought it was going to be. Depending on the next book in the series I may choose to discontinue reading these books as I become more and more disappointed with each one. Authors have a right to choose to write about something else, but as a reader I have the right to continue not to read if that does happen. I can only hope Chiaverini somehow gets back to the characters I love after this one.

The Wedding Quilt
Copyright 2011
321 pages

September 07, 2012

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Sometimes it can be hard to find yourself.  Even as an adult, there are so many people wandering around out there, not knowing exactly where they are going.  And the biggest message we can get from that is that it's ok.  Everybody has a different path, and that's kind of what this book was all about to me.

Codi Noline returns to her hometown to teach biology for a year.  It's not a planned move, Codi's never been really good at planning or staying in one spot.  This is just another step on the road as she meanders around trying to find some bit of happiness.  In fact, her father's decline from Alzheimer's is all that brings her back anyway.  Meanwhile, her sister Hallie is off to South America, to try to teach farmers a way of saving their crops and lands, but finds herself in some dangerous work because of the political climate there.  Codi does reconnect with several people from her childhood though, most notably a man that she had conceived a child with when she was in her teens, although he doesn't know about it.  And as she starts to settle in her old urge to pick up and go reemerges, and she just can't figure out what she should do with her life.

Codi is a compelling character.  You can feel sorry for her, and empathize with her, because she is so real.  Kingsolver is a character builder, and that's what all her books are about, the people.  Codi is no exception, she has some real problems in her life and with her feelings and I can really relate to her.  Especially about the not knowing what to do with your life.  Hey boyfriend Loyd (and yes it is spelled that way) is also a pretty decent guy.  He has some hobbies that I'm not thrilled with but allows himself to grow and tries to be a good person.  So that's admirable in my eyes.  All the other characters are pretty wonderful too.  They're all so real and definitely can remind you of people in your own life.  It was like watching someone's life go by, in a book.

I could see where this book could be potentially boring for some.  Not a lot really happens, it's mostly the main characters musings and conversations between everyone.  But I found it easy to immerse myself in the book and get lost.  I kind of feel like a broken record saying it, but everything just felt so real.  Like I could go out West and find this group of people.  The main point of views switch between Codi and her father, and I found that a little distracting, but it did help with some background information in regards to Codi.  But then because her father is suffering from a mental disease it also made it hard to understand from his point of view.  Which is clever writing but still frustrating at times.

A very good book and one I'd recommend.  I wouldn't say it was a favorite but I found it very compelling.  I look forward to reading more by Kingsolver.

Animal Dreams
Copyright 1990
352 pages

September 04, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Believe it or not I somehow made it through high school and college without reading this book.  Even more incredulous, I'd never really heard anything about it other than it was considered a classic.  And now for the humour, due to the name of the book, I thought it was going to be about life on a farm and harvests.  Yeah, I was definitely wrong.

Holden is a teenage boy who has just been kicked out of his school for failing most of his classes.  As the term has not quite let out for winter yet, he is still on campus, but after an altercation decides to leave and explore the big bad streets of New York by himself.  Here he gets himself into mild trouble, almost sleeps with a prostitute, and generally just gambles around talking to himself and attempts to keep himself entertained.  This is all done while expressing a genuine dissatisfaction at the world around him.

Holden is not an endearing character.  Sure he has his moments when it comes to little glimmers of helpfulness and appreciation in him, but for the most part he's just not that likable.  And I really think that was the intention.  He is not your general hero and instead portrays a depressed, ego-centric, angst-ridden teenager.  Which is probably immediately identifiable to a big portion of the population.  Especially those who are his age as well.  There are other characters in the novel as well but we only see them through Holden's eyes.  Therefore, if he likes them they are described in glowing terms, like his sister, or if he doesn't like them he makes sure you know it, like his roommate at the school.  But in the end, when it comes to Holden himself, I really didn't care what happened either way to him.

There wasn't a normal plot to this book.  It kind of just rambled on like Holden's stream of consciousness without a break.  I actually found it kind of hard to read as I'm not fond of the stream of consciousness type of writing.  It works ok in the movies when a person is actually talking, but in writing it doesn't translate as well or lend itself to being readable.  That being said it was a rather tragic book and a good look at how people can feel lost at times.  But I won't say I enjoyed it.  I actually found the book pretty average.  Maybe not worth the hype it's been given, but not anything I'd say I'd hate either.  At most I'll probably remember it for a few days and move on as it didn't spark anything in me.

I can't see myself reading anything else by Salinger.  But this wasn't as excruciating or as wonderful as I thought it would be judging by others opinions.  It simply was out there.

The Catcher in the Rye
Copyright 1945
214 pages

September 03, 2012

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

**This review is part of the Amazon Vine program**

I absolutely loved this book. I found it innovative and unlike anything else I had read before. And it was dystopian, which is one of my favorite genres. It definitely made me glad I picked a book out because of its cover when I don't normally do that.

Adelice lives in a world that is controlled by Spinsters. Women who can weave the looms that run the world. And the Spinsters of course are controlled by the guild. From the food that is given to whether or not daughters or sons are born to a family, everything is controlled in her world. Her parents hope that she won't become a Spinster, and she never really realizes why until she is called into service. It's a cutthroat occupation and far more devious than she ever imagined. And her abilities are beyond the normal set for girls, making her world a little more treacherous as a result.

Adelice is a very strong character. She's smart, but sometimes can't control what she says and I can totally relate to having a lack of filter. She just won't take anything from anybody if she can help it. And the situation she is put into is certainly an interesting one and quite dangerous to her if she doesn't play the game right. With all the antagonists in this story it's also hard to pick a favorite one. They all play their role very well and it's very hard to tell who's who and on what side. And if they really think what they're doing is for the good of all or just in it for themselves. I did like Adelice's male companions as well. They were each very unique and relevant to the story.

The idea of a world being controlled by weavers is interesting. It shows some roots in mythology but takes it to a whole other level. And the detail of that level is astounding. Albin did a very good job world building and describing how the weaving takes place. I could almost see it happening in my head. But her world is also very cruel, as they must be in a dystopian novel and it definitely makes you root for the main character to overcome the odds. The only think I was really disappointed in was the abrupt ending. Everything just rushed a little too fast for me.

But I will definitely look forward to the sequel of this book. I have to know what happens and I care about the characters and want to know what will become of them. A very intriguing story to be sure.

Copyright 2012
357 pages

Tecumseh by Paul Joseph Lederer

I like exploring different aspects of our history in this country. And in particular I've always been intrigued with the story of Tecumseh. This was a telling of the Tecumseh story, but widely different than anything I had ever read before. And to be honest, I didn't really like it.

Tecumseh was born under the prophecy of a shooting star. He was born to be a Warrior, and with the Americans encroaching further and further into their territory, an inevitable war breaks out. Tecumseh's first thought is war, but between his wife, true love, and a slave who worships him, he also has his hands pretty full with women too. As the years pass, he becomes more desperate to regain what used to belong to his tribe.

Tecumseh was a pretty flat character. Aside from his quick love for Elizabeth, the English woman he meets by chance, he doesn't really seem to care about much but the war that is raging on. Even his son by his wife he doesn't really express interest in. Elizabeth herself is such a weird character and I really didn't see what value she added to the story. The same with all of the women in Tecumseh's life really, with maybe the exception of the wife as she provided some antagonism.

The plot contained some historical accuracies. Some of the main battles were mentioned that Tecumseh was part of. And some real people were also included. But the main part of this book was pure fabrication. It kind of hurt to read actually. Especially all of Tecumseh's love interests. While I'm sure the guy probably slept around a little bit I doubt it happened in the way this book described. It just seemed too implausible. There was also a bit of descriptive sex in this book, which doesn't bother me, but wasn't something I was expecting in this type of book. And there were some gory descriptions of war as well. So you have been warned if you don't care for these types of things.

Not that historically accurate, flat characters, and just in general a read I wouldn't recommend, this book is one that makes me think I'll pass on any others by Lederer.

Copyright 1982
298 pages