Tag Archives: books about Native Americans

Book Review: “Paper Woman”

Well, this week was a lovely one spent visiting family, reading by the pool in the Florida sunshine while my parents chased my kids around, and feeling generally well rested and refreshed on some much needed vitamin-D (it’s been a long, gray, dreary winter). Speaking of reading by the pool…

In keeping with March’s “Month of Women” theme for March, this week I read Suzanne Adair’s historical fiction novel, Paper Woman.

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Paper Woman follows Sophie – a 33 year old widow living in Georgia during the American Revolution – as she faces redcoats, rebels, Native Americans, and dangerous Spaniards on an exciting journey from Georgia to St. Augustine, where she hopes to find the man who murdered her father. Sophie comes face-to-face with fear, love, and her true self, all while keeping herself, and her companions, alive.

What a great novel! Not only is it exceptionally well-written and a real page turner (I had a hard time putting it down), but Sophie is, quite possibly, my new favorite female heroine in a newer book. Contemporary authors have this desire to make their female characters either wilting flowers, or infallible, rough, tough women, and I always have a hard time relating to one or the other. Sophie is a wonderfully balanced combination of both. She is strong, determined, stubborn, and smart, but also sensitive and full of faults – characteristics I feel that any real woman can relate to. The supporting cast of mostly male characters are richly described and just as realistic, contributing to Paper Woman being one of those historical fiction novels that you can picture being based on real people and real events. They seem to come out of a journal entry, rather than a work of fiction.

Adair surely does her research. The historical backdrop is so acutely tuned and deeply developed – you feel like you have been there – seen the sights, smelled the smells, experienced the action first hand. The characterization of Sophie and her comrades, coupled with Adair’s well-defined setting makes this novel a joy to read. I may be a little partial to this novel – it has a great female lead, is about one of the most fascinating (in my opinion) periods in American history, and is historical fiction (my favorite genre) – but I think this one is a must read for sure. There’s enough romance for the romance readers, loads of history for the historian, and a female character that will make you either fall in love or feel empowered. The book is exciting to no end, and a wonderful way to learn facts about American history you didn’t know before (for example: I had no idea the Spanish were involved in the American Revolution – shame on me)! The best part, however, is that this book is the first in a series. You can count on seeing another of Adair’s Mysteries of the American Revolution Trilogy.

If I’ve piqued your interest, you can find this book in a really well formatted eBook version at the following sites (just click the links). You might also find a hard copy on one of these sites if you prefer a book in your hands (I usually do).

Amazon  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iTunes  |  Kobo

If you’re interested in learning more about the author, visit her website: http://www.suzanneadair.net – her blog is updated frequently, and her posts are always interesting, informative posts about the American Revolution (generally), and give an insight into her research process!

So what about you? Have you read any of Adair’s books? What are your thoughts? Do you appreciate a well-written female lead? Do you like American Revolution novels? Mysteries?

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Book Review: “I am Regina”

This week, we finished up our 2013 reading, and introduced our 2014 reading (Happy New Year!), with a youth historical fiction, I am Regina by Sally M. Keehn.

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This book was the first “youth” novel of the reading challenge, and what a great choice, if I do say so myself! I am Regina tells the tragic, touching, and shocking story of a young girl – Regina – who lives in the mountains of the late 18th Century Pennsylvania. Her family is ambushed and scalped by Native Americans, and Regina is kidnapped and taken to their village. She is forced to live among them, experiencing her pre-teen years by coping with a new culture, strange new customs, and struggling to remember who she is and where she comes from despite being assimilated into the Native American world.

This story is beautiful. There’s plenty of real, raw emotions, coupled with an excellently told story. Keehn is a great writer – I enjoyed her storytelling as an adult, and I know it would easily impact a child. This book is a GREAT piece of youth literature, and parents seeking to encourage young readers should have this book on the shelf! The story is interesting, the vocabulary is expansive (for its 4.5 reading level), and young readers will be able to relate to the title character, who is 10 at the beginning of the book.

I will certainly keep this book on the shelves, and pass it on to my girls when they reach an age where they are looking for something good to read. In the world of video games and the Internet, children need encouragement to read, and I am Regina is a great book to help fuel the love for literature. I really enjoyed this book!

Did you read I am Regina? Can you think back on your childhood and remember any books that you will encourage your own children to read?

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