Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Before Fallen Timbers by NM Jarrell

1786 October A crisp autumn day. The “river of hawks” flows above a sunlit field… Lazy smudges of smoke rise from the stone chimney of a small cabin where three young children play while their parents lay fence. The eldest sister stacks rails in the woods. She wishes she was spending the lovely day anywhere else. The cabin lies just off “The War Path,” an ancient trail soaked with the blood of Shawnee and Iroquois who once both lay claim to this land. The Iroquois are long gone, but Shawnee are plentiful, and they continue to wage the late war of their British Fathers. They raid the homes of those who encroach on their territory, or lure them to watery deaths on the Ohio River. More than 3000 settlers in the Ohio River Valley have been carried into captivity since 1783, when the war officially ended with The Treaty of Paris. The Shawnee are left on the side of the losers. For safety’s sake, the Flynn family and others have been staying at a nearby fort. But they must return to their land to build a fence, to make “an improvement” desired by the young US government through provisions of the Northwest Ordinance. This improvement makes the Flynns eligible for hundreds of additional acres. They race against the approach of winter. And Shawnee raiders. At the gobbling of wild turkeys, the Flynns halt in their tasks. A moment later, blasts from Indian rifles blow their world apart. Nothing will ever be the same.

Review:

Author NM Jarrell has captured her ancestry in a well researched novel that takes place during the 18th century in the aftermath of the American War of Independence. 

With his wife and children, John Flynne is a farmer, working hard so that he can be rewarded with an extra 400 acres in a grant by the Kentucky government. Their lives are drastically altered when a band of native people massacre the town and capture several others as slaves. What follows is a heart-wrenching tale of survival, perseverance, and the search to rescue the stolen family members. 

The author has delved deep into her research, garnering a strong understanding of the native people, and life in the early settlements. Steeped in historical accuracy, it is a raw tale of the hardships our pioneer forefathers endured in the creation of America. Nicely done!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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