Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review ~ Thieving Forest by Martha Conway

TITLE: Thieving Forest
AUTHOR: Martha Conway
TYPE: historical fiction
PAGES: 416
SERIES:  not that I am aware of


Netgalley had it up and ready for readers

SUMMARY (from Goodreads):
On a humid morning in 1806, seventeen-year-old Susanna Quiner watches helplessly from behind a tree while a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin. With both her parents dead from Swamp Fever and all the other settlers out in their fields, Susanna rashly decides to pursue them herself. What follows is a young woman's quest to save her sisters and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives. 

Over the next five months, Susanna tans hides in a Moravian missionary village; escapes down a river with a young native girl; discovers an eccentric white woman raising chickens in the middle of the Great Black Swamp; and becomes a servant in a Wyandot village longhouse. The man who loves her, Seth Spendlove, is in pursuit after he realizes that his father was involved in the kidnapping. Part Potawatomi himself but living a white man’s life, Seth unwittingly sets off on his own quest to reclaim his birthright. He allies himself with a Potawatomi named Koman, one of the band of men who originally abducted the Quiner sisters, but who now wishes to make his own retribution. Together they canoe through the Black Swamp and into enemy territory looking for Susanna, and while they travel Koman teaches Seth about their shared heritage. 

I struggled with this book. On the one hand I adored it and would push and push to read it. On the other hand it would drag and I would have to force myself to push through. There were times when the book moved too slow to where I almost was completely over it and then all of the sudden it would rush through the parts I wanted it to go slow. All in all not a bad historical fiction novel the history was written in such a way I didn’t feel as if I was reading a history book. The characters were fleshed out well enough and they all evolved in one way or another. While there were some personal things I had issues with the book in general was a nice read.

I enjoy when characters grow and evolve and I have to say all of them did just that in this book. One or two took a step back but at least it was movement. None of the characters mentioned or introduced in this book remained stagnate.
The main character Susanna did grow but also maintained some of her original thoughts which is fair. There are things we will grow and learn from and yet they may or may not change our deep seated beliefs.
It was good to see the sister either adapting to their situations or not adapting. They all went through hardships and trials and for them to reach the point where they did to survive I have to say was the best part.
I liked that Indians were not the bad guys they actually helped the sisters at different points. This wasn’t a book that wanted us to think that all Indians are like this. This book in fact showed at least 3 different tribes and how they interacted with white people and each other. I enjoyed reading about the different tribes and different viewpoints a lot.

I thought the ending was rushed. I felt as if I almost didn’t get any of the closure I was looking for. It felt like I read and read and read over the sanctuary and the snake bite and what that was like and yet I didn’t even really get to know what the heck happened at the end.
I wanted more I wanted to know what was happening with all their lives at the end not just a quick glimpse and oh there we go congrats you finished. (I am trying not to spoil it here) but dang I wanted more. I almost felt like that’s it? That’s all of an ending I get?
Don’t get me wrong this didn’t turn me off from the book I just didn’t have that sigh of wow great wrap up.

Favorite part or line from story:
I liked the part with Seth and Susanna (which is also the part I felt was rushed and didn’t get enough attention) but I have to say Seth had me from the beginning.

Would you recommend this story? yes

Is this a part of a reading challenge? New author and yearly challenge

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