Book Review

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

Surprises in novels are the best. This book as a whole was a surprise to me. When I started reading it, I actually was bored with the story. But there was always something that pulled me along and kept me reading. I’m not sure what it was, but I’m glad it was there. This novel has so many gems tucked between the covers and embedded in the pages, and I loved unearthing them.

**I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

“But I think sometimes to claim a right is the wrong thing to do.”

-Good Voice, The Wood’s Edge

Characters: This novel certainly put flawed characters to the test. With characters keeping secrets and others nursing their own selfish desires, there is a realness that is captured within the population of this book. The characters come alive off the page. It was hard to near the end of this book when I had spent so much time in the complex life and relationships of these people (but I can meet up with them again in 2016).

Storyline: I had a hard time becoming immersed in this story. In many ways, it was like wading into a lake slowly. I hardly noticed how deep it was getting. The book did start out slow, and in many ways, reminded me of a prologue that just kept going. But, somewhere, it gave way to the story. It was gradual and I didn’t even notice it happening. I’m glad it did, because the story within this book is beautiful and one that lingers after the final word has been read.

My Thoughts:  By the time I finished this novel, my heart felt battered and then made right. Courageous is a strong word that comes to mind with how the characters handle the difficult circumstance that ultimately find themselves in. This is certainly one of those stories that will probably linger in my mind, which I’m sure will make the wait for the next book that much harder to bear.

The Wood’s Edge will be available April 21, 2015

About the Author:
Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, and The Wood’s Edge.

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