At 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 judgement, 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?
The Wood’s Edge is the first book in Lori Benton’s The Pathfinders series, and is also the first book I have ever read by her. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going in, but the description thoroughly intrigued me, so I was actually pretty excited to read this book. However, I never expected I would love it as much as I did. This book is phenomenal! It didn’t take long for me to find myself completely captivated by this story, and it was extremely difficult to put it down when reality stepped in. I’m definitely a fan of Lori’s now, and I cannot wait to read more in this series. The story of Reginald’s deception, and Anna’s secret meetings with Two Hawks, quickly took hold of my heart, and even now I cannot stop thinking about it, and about what is going to happen next.
There are so many elements to this story, which is part of what makes it so captivating, and I am really impressed with how well Lori tied all of the pieces together. I never would have expected all of the twists and turns that this book would take, especially with how William discovered the truth. But I have to say, I hoped Anna and Two Hawks would end up like they did. I was very glad when their paths crossed, and then twisted until they became irrevocably entwined. Anyway, I also never would have expected Lydia; she isn’t mentioned at all in the description so when parts started being in her perspective, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Before much time had passed, however, I was loudly cheering for her to finally have what her heart had always longed for (I can’t say any more than that or I’ll spoil everything).
One part of this story that really tore at my heart was how harshly Reginald Aubrey punished himself for the sins of his past. I know that he loved William, there’s no question about it, but I still felt like he was somewhat detached from William because always reminded Reginald of what he had done, and maybe even because Reginald couldn’t let himself purely love someone who was there because of an impure past. Anyway, I cannot tell you how long I waited for Reginald to forgive himself, and how badly I wanted him to stop torturing himself over something he couldn’t undo, and I can’t say that I’m not still waiting still—partly because I don’t want to ruin the story but also because there is a second book and there’s a possibility he still hasn’t forgiven himself yet.
Anyway, I really, really enjoyed this book, and I cannot help giving it all five bookshelves. It made it on to my all-time favorites list, so I really can’t give it any less! On top of that, I’m also dying to be able to read the second book in the series, which doesn’t come out for another month. I cannot wait to read more about this story, and I highly recommend this part of it to anyone who’s looking for a good read!
To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Lori Benton and WaterBrook Publishing.