Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Wolves of Andover

The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent

In Kent’s earlier book, Heretic’s Daughter a young girl loses her mother to the notorious witch trials. Her father has a mysterious past–in this book we learn what that was.

The Wolves of Andover is about two different kinds of wolves–the wild ones and the human ones. Settlers in New England in the seventeenth century contended with many natural hazards–wild animals, smallpox, weather, crop failure, to name a few. But author Kathleen Kent uses her gift of vivid detail to make clear that the hazards from fellow humans were much more dangerous in the struggle to survive.

This story ties English history with Colonial history. The two of course were closely entwined during this period, a fact that does not come through in much of the American history taught in classrooms. Thomas Morgan, the man with the mysterious past in The Heretic’s Daughter, was involved in the English Civil War in which the king of England, Charles I, lost his head. The reader and the young woman who becomes his wife (and the accused witch in The Heretic’s Daughter), slowly uncover the part he played…the description that Martha eventually writes down is stunning and totally believable, even as a fictionalized account.

There is much violence, vividly depicted, in this book. It is definitely for mature readers. The history may be harder to follow for teen readers than Kent’s earlier book, simply because it is much more unfamiliar territory than the Salem witch trials. But if a teen reader liked The Heretic’s Daughter, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. By the end, the history becomes very clear and the reader gains a vivid perspective of the interconnectedness of England and its American colonies.

I loved both these books. But I love this period and place in history–I have a deep question in my psyche about why we left England and came here–so reading historical fiction as good as this is a treat I only yearn for more of.

Gaby

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Filed under 9-12 Grade, Enjoyable for parents, Fantastic!, Historical Fiction, Uncategorized