Burning Sky by Lori Benton
Waterbrook Mulnomah, 2013
“She was adrift between two lives, unable to grieve. Unable to hope.” (62)
The beauty and richness of this story will grab a hold of you and not let go until far beyond the last page.
Willa has endured so much pain and loss in her life. At the age of 14, she was taken from her family by Mohawk Indians. After adjusting, Willa lived a full life with her new family. Twelve years later, her family has been ripped from her again, and Willa finds herself at a crossroads: where does she belong?
She has had two families. Torn from both, belonging to neither, and caught between both, Willa must find a way to continue on alone.
The pain she has suffered has made her stronger, but her past has taught her to be cautious with her heart and not risk it again. She has closed her heart off to protect herself from any further pain in her life. This book is her journey of not only finding where she belongs, but also of learning to open her heart to love, despite the risk.
The book opens when Willa returns to the land of her parents. As Willa’s story is slowly revealed, the reader learns about the things she has endured. On the journey she takes in this book, there are three central characters in Willa’s life that, in a way, represent the three phases of her life.
-First, there is Richard Waring, who she knew in her childhood. Before she was taken, Richard had intentions to marry Willa. Now, he is a hardened man, bitter and angry from war and the things he has seen.
-The next man in her life, Joseph Tames-His-Horse, has been a close friend to Willa since she was adopted into the Mohawk tribe. He is a strong, loyal man who wants to protect and provide for her. They have unspoken feelings for each other, however, because they are in the same clan, he is considered her brother.
-Third is Neil MacGregor, whom Willa finds on the side of the road, injured and unconscious. Willa takes care of him as she tries to readjust to the life she left long ago. Neil is a botanist and a doctor who is passionate about discovering new plants, but an accident has impaired his ability to read and write. Whereas the other two men know her from one of her previous “lives”, Neil knows Willa as she is now, fragmented and broken from her past.
This novel is a lengthy read, however, it is well worth your time. The plot is both intricate and well thought-out, which makes for a captivating and satisfying read. Toward the end of the book, many loose ends remain, but I was pleasantly surprised to read how everything unfolded, and it came together quite nicely. All the questions that you will have while reading the book will be answered by the end, and I found myself happy with the ending. (I have to say, Willa does not choose the man I wanted her to choose, however, I think the ending was very fitting for the story.)
Rating: 5 stars
*I received a copy of this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group through the Blogging for Books program for my honest review.*
Lori Benton’s next book is coming out on April 15, 2014. I look forward to reading it! Here’s the cover:
Have you read or plan to read Burning Sky? What are your thoughts on the book? Will you be reading Lori’s next book?