Saturday, February 18, 2017
8. Crow Hollow - Michael Wallace
2015, Lake Union Publishing
Adult historical fiction
Goodreads rating: 3.65 (7156 ratings)
My rating: 4
Setting: 1676 Massachusetts - Boston west to Springfield
First line/s: "James Bailey stared down from the main deck of the Vigilant as it eased up to the wharves, a knot of excitement forming in his belly."
My comments: This was quite a satisfying historical fiction novel. Puritan Boston/New England has always fascinated me ever since, years ago, I studied the history and artwork of some of the first cemeteries in eastern Massachusetts. Most easily accessible narration about the time period, however, is based around the Salem witch trials, of which I'm quite tired. This is the story of Englishman James Bailey who, in December 1676, is emissary for England's King Charles, who has come to Boston to find out why Benjamin Cotton, the King's man in charge of Boston, has been killed in Indian uprisings. Here he encounters Prudence Cotton, widow of Benjamin Cotton, who has written an account of her capture and imprisonment by the Nipmuc Indian tribe and has some questions of her own. The story kept me interested throughout, and I learned quite a bit about the time, place, and history of the time.
Goodreads synopsis: In 1676, an unlikely pair—a young Puritan widow and an English spy—journeys across a land where greed and treachery abound.
Prudence Cotton has recently lost her husband and is desperate to find her daughter, captured by the Nipmuk tribe during King Philip’s war. She’s convinced her daughter is alive but cannot track her into the wilderness alone. Help arrives in the form of James Bailey, an agent of the crown sent to Boston to investigate the murder of Prudence’s husband and to covertly cause a disturbance that would give the king just cause to install royal governors. After his partner is murdered, James needs help too. He strikes a deal with Prudence, and together they traverse the forbidding New England landscape looking for clues. What they confront in the wilderness—and what they discover about each other—could forever change their allegiances and alter their destinies.