A Christy award-winning novel about a woman caught between two worlds, and the lengths she goes to find where she belongs
Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence: her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.
When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.
As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?
"A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoking flax he shall not quench": that's the theme resonating through this lovingly rendered historical-romantic homage to the men and women of the American frontier after the Revolutionary War. It is a harsh time in an even more trying place. Willa Obenchain, also known as Burning Sky, is a woman born of white men, yet raised in the Mohawk tribe. By returning to her past, she seeks to find the strength to stand and flourish when everything around her has fallen. The only flaw in this well-researched, vivid tale is the off-putting repetition of the trials facing Willa and her companions. The intricate exploration of human emotion is riveting, evoking strong sympathetic responses. Much of the novel's allure comes from the depiction of faith as a touchstone something to be lived with love, humor, and devotion.