The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton
The Pathfinders: Book 1
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald's wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood's edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin's absence, another unaware of his twin's existence. And for Anna, who loves them both--Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?
Let me start by saying what an absolute pleasure it was to read this story. Benton has such a way with words that the scenes were coming to life in my mind completely of their own free will. I thought I was getting a love story that would push boundaries and cross cultures and I did. What I wasn’t expecting was a sweeping family saga told through many tumultuous years and the eyes of such different, compelling characters. The story starts with a bang figuratively and literally. Major Reginald Aubrey makes a snap decision, driven by grief and fear, so resounding it affects and drives the lives of two separate families for years to come.
I was surprised to discover the romance between Two Hawks and Anna did not develop for quite some time and that I did not care one wink. I loved seeing the story unfold through Good Voice and Lydia’s eyes. They were such well written, strong characters who made me feel their emotions. I hurt with them, wept with them, longed with them and felt their peace and joy.