Title: The Wood's Edge
Author: Lori Benton
Series: The Path Finders #1
Genre: Historical Romance
~ MY REVIEW ~
I simply love this era, this style of writing, this feel. Lori Benton, I love your books! ^_^ Set in a time of unrest, Native Americans hunting the forests, and the Colonies and England stirring against each other, The Wood's Edge did not fail to catch my interest and capture my heart. (Just like Burning Sky and The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn before it; and also Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. All set around the same time period). I don't know what exactly it is ... but I am just in love with novels like these. I don't think I will ever get tired of them. Lori Benton (and Laura Frantz), please bring them on! *grins*
The story starts in the midst of a terrifying scene of war. The French and Indian War. Regionald Aubrey is carrying his still newborn son away from his sleeping wife. Grieved. Tortured with the thought of having to tell his weak and troubled wife about the death of their baby. That's when he sees the Indian captive. She's recently given birth to two babies ...
Years later, his decisions of that day still haunt him. And unknown to him, it also haunts others. A young girl named Lydia. An Indian boy, Two Hawks. A heartbroken mother, Good Voice. His sins will reach far and wide to try and destroy many; even his beloved "daughter", Anna.
Honestly, The Wood's Edge wasn't what I was expecting. I was a bit worried I might not like it. The first main character I met was a young married soldier, Regionald. The next a teenage girl, Lydia. The next a sorrowing mother, Good Voice. And I was like, Hmm, so when am I going to meet the two on the front cover? Well, that came soon enough. It all worked out; giving just enough backstory, poignancy, and depth to make the story even better before we actually meet the main characters who are depicted on the cover. So yes. I quickly fell into this tale. And absolutely adored it.
It's heart-rending, yes. There's rough times. Terrible decisions. Dark secrets. Bitterness and revengeful thoughts. There's tears. There's hate. There is broken families and broken people.
But then there is beauty. Laughter. Love. Forgiveness cuts through the darkness, illuminating a path to joy and peace. To hope. There are second chances. A masterful story unfolds with grace and depth.
I just loved it. The meeting at the wood's edge. The budding love. The preacher in the Indian's village. ...After the bear attack. The redemption story. Ah! There's so much in here I want to spill out about!! But you'll just have to go read the book for yourself. I don't want to give any spoilers.
Cautions ... There may be some slightly frightening moments. A bit of violence depicted. As for romance, it's definitely for mature audiences. There were a few a-bit-heated scenes.
But I really liked the realness and deepness of this love story. First love. Secret romance. Young people who don't even quite realize they've fallen in love. Ah yes. And there were some boundaries set and things realized as it progressed that showed maturity and wisdom concerning romance on the characters' parts.
I mentioned a theme of forgiveness ... Yes. Powerful. Incredible. Real. It was just so very soul-touching, this story. I loved the faith theme. I loved watching the Truth of Jesus spread amongst the Native American village; seeing how they responded to it. I loved seeing how Anna's faith and journey to God played out. It was all just so beautiful! Eep! Touched my heart. <3
Anyway. Historical romance at its best. A sweeping drama. Rich. Emotional. Raw. Profound. As I closed The Wood's Edge, I just got this satisfied feeling, mixed with a little bit of awe. Contentment. Like, I just read a very beautiful story. And I can hardly wait to read the next one! A Flight of Arrows, <3