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MOURNING WARS by Karen Steinmetz

MOURNING WARS

By Karen Steinmetz

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-290-1
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Eunice Williams lives the strictly controlled life of a seven-year-old Puritan child in 1704 Deerfield, in colonial Massachusetts. In a raid by the Canienga (or Macqua, or Mohawk), her entire community is kidnapped and dispersed, and Eunice eventually finds herself in a new culture, with a new family. Following her over the course of years, readers experience her acculturation with her new family, slowly learn along with her of the history and politics among the English, French and the Haudenosaunee League and witness Eunice’s transformation into a teenager who makes an ultimate choice to identify herself and thereby choose a people. First-time novelist Steinmetz indicates in her author’s note that this is a work of fiction based on actual events and that her depiction of the Canienga culture “can be only approximate” (the sources she identifies are observations from outside of the culture, and she acknowledges their limitations). As such, her leisurely paced narrative with its poetic attention to detail and insight into character may serve interested readers with a more contemporary and respectful perspective than older “Indian Captive” stories. (Historical fiction. 11-14)