Book Review: The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

Posted May 28, 2015 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Christian, historical, Lori Benton, romance / 2 Comments

The Wood's Edge book review

The Wood's Edge by Lori BentonTHE WOOD’S EDGE by Lori Benton
The Pathfinders #1

GENRE: Historical Fiction (Christian)
RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2015
PAGES: 391

At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?


Another reviewer said, “I don’t recall giving this book permission to end.” Preach it, sister! And yet it just goes right on ahead and does what it pleases. It ends. And before it ends, Lori Benton ramps up the intensity with some oh-sweet-mercy-don’t-distract-me-now scenes that will have you forgetting to breathe due to the emotions holding you captive. I mean… wow. One of the most powerful scenes I have ever read. Ever. Across all fiction-dom. And then… “the end”.  My angst was just as bad as what I experience with an NCIS season finale cliffhanger. Is it 2016 yet?

One thing I really loved about this book was the parallels between different characters and their choices. Two women had a decision stolen from them on the same night; only one actually knew about it. Still, one woman chose to do what proved necessary to survive the fallout while the other chose to constantly make her dissatisfaction known.  Major Aubrey stole the living baby to replace his dead son; his wife never knew the difference and thought he was her own son.  That same night, the major rescued a toddler from beside the bodies of her parents, risking his life to defend her against the Indian trying to kill her too. He unofficially adopted the young girl, but his wife always treated her as another’s child. This line about Major Aubrey and his wife is pure poetry in its irony: “With panic urging reckless haste, Reginald picked a path into the dismaying wood as, each carrying a stranger’s child, they started for Fort Edward.”

It begins at a wood’s edge – and it ends at a wood’s edge … but with nearly twenty years separating the two.  Twenty years and countless opportunities for redemption, restoration, and repentance, if anyone chooses to heed the quiet voice of the Creator who whispers to them in the stillness of their hearts.

Bottom Line: Weaving history and fiction evenly together – without being left with too much of one and too little of the other – is no easy feat! Yet in The Wood’s Edge as in her previous books, author Lori Benton succeeds beautifully! Rich characters, complex emotions, and the enduring trilogy of faith, hope, and love tumble together in a narrative that somersaults through the tumultuous years containing the French and Indian War until the stirrings of the American Revolution. A riveting start to this new series of novels, The Wood’s Edge covered nearly 20 years of life and yet ended far sooner than I desired.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

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Lori Benton

Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, and The Wood’s Edge.

Connect with Lori at her website, on Facebook, and on Pinterest.

What about you? What makes you want to read The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton?

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