Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Blood on the River: James Town, 1607
First sentence: My feet slap, bare and cold, on the cobblestones.
Premise/plot: Samuel Collier stars in this action packed historical coming of age novel for children. He is saved from jail, if you will, when he is chosen to be a servant (indentured?) to a Captain John Smith. Smith is one of many men heading to the New World, to Virginia. Technically one of their goals is to find the lost colony of Roanoke. But mainly, it’s all about the money. What can they find in the new land to turn a quick profit. They are hoping for gold, gold, and more gold. But other natural resources may be a better choice. But the settlers are clueless, naive, inexperienced, short-sighted. Potential wealth isn’t as important as survival. And risks are everywhere. Sometimes coming from natives, sometimes not. Disease, starvation, freezing temperatures also threaten their future. Collier is a part of it all, a witness to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Life is challenging.
My thoughts: This one opens shortly before the ships(3?) leave England for Virginia. It proves a super compelling read from the start. It offers both action and suspense. The characters were all real men, women, and children. The novel is well researched if the bibliography is to be believed. Of course, the primary sources are subjective in nastier as all journals and diaries tend to be. But there are enough sources to offer readers a glimpse of what it might have been like to live through these earliest years in America.
© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews