A Revolutionary War historical from Cooney (Small Town Girl, not reviewed) portrays the rebellion unleashed by British atrocities in a small village in Maine.
William and Lavinia Mowlam were born and raised in New England, but they grew up thinking of Great Britain, though they’d never seen it, as home. Even after William was abducted by redcoats during the French and Indian War and forced into service as a guide for more than a year, he came home exhausted but not especially radicalized. Lavinia, however, never forgave the British for what they did to him and, now, grows to hate the mother country. With the encouragement of her brother-in-law John Avens, a Boston clergyman who moves in the same circles as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, the highly educated Lavinia begins to write anonymous articles attacking the Crown. Sedition is always dangerous, but who would suspect a farmwife in the wilds of Maine? Who, that is, except Loyalist merchant Samuel Leyson, who’d been shown the door when he tried to court Lavinia years before. Acting on a tip from Leyson, a party of English soldiers disguised as Indians attack and murder William and Lavinia and their five children at night in October 1774. The British will come to regret the atrocity, which turns an entire region against them. Lavinia’s brother, the ship captain Patrick Rousse, bends his energies to privateering and begins raiding British frigates and ports. John Avens gives up preaching and throws himself into the revolutionary cause. Most ambitious of all is the widow Winnie Goodridge, a local innkeeper who sets up a foundry on the old Mowlam farm and begins to produce guns and shot for the Continental Army. With the help of Patrick’s services as a smuggler and gunrunner, the Mowlam foundry becomes a decisive factor in the colonial uprising.
A careful, intelligent account of the personal motives behind historical events. Dramatic and instructive.