Today I am sharing the first of two titles in the Widow Walk Saga by author Gerard LaSalle. This historic fiction series is based in Washington State in the early days of settlement from westward moving pioneers. Widow Walk, the first in this saga is the award winning first of the series.
Told in multiple perspectives, LaSalle uses the individual characters and their compelling voices to humanize what could easily become a dry, scholastic tome. Historic fiction, when written well, is the best combination of fact and imagination that never leans too heavily on oversharing either perspective. And here, LaSalle has obtained a wonderful balance: with the characters all having dreams and desires that we all share, and using the quest for a dream to share historic detail.
From the Evers family, wife and mother Emmy, husband Isaac and children Jacob and Sarah, to moments with Captain Pickett and the Native Chief Anah of the Haida tribe, each character is given time to share their own dreams and perspectives on events: winter, the struggle to farm, conflict with Natives, encroachment, the wet weather, isolation and the unique challenges from the landscape, and this gives readers a balance. At the core is the struggle of survival and expansion: settlers with the consent of the federal government are seeking to find new lands and prosperity further west. The Natives that have occupied the lands for generations are finding themselves unwelcome and unwanted by the interlopers. There are conflicts and consequences galore all brought to life in this book.
What emerges is a lovely story that works on multiple levels, giving overviews and personal perspectives on issues large and small as the story follows the characters and their changes. Particularly intriguing is the sense of foreshadow in Anah’s voice, his confusion and dismay at the changes that even he cannot find an answer for. I could not put this book down, and am fortunate enough to be able to dive right into the next installment.
Title: Widow Walk
Author: Gerard LaSalle
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: Avasta
Published on: 29 April, 2013
Source: Smith Publicity
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 19 minutes
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In the early days of the American Pacific Northwest, small settlements dot the wilds of streams and dense woods. Isaac Evers, a community leader and former militiaman, has established a small colony on Whidbey Island. Though the area appears calmer than in the past, the northern indigenous clans still threaten the livelihood of Isaac’s growing family.
While Isaac is away on expeditions, his wife Emmy tends to the many duties required of a property owner on Whidbey Island. Bold and assertive, Emmy has little time for the restraint of social mores. But as times on the island become more turbulent, her constitution and conviction are tested.
Elsewhere, Haida native Anah-nawitka feels the rush of his first kill and the satisfying vengeance cast from his hand to the head of the invading white colonists. Basking in the praise from his tribemates, Anah starts down a violent path that will alter a great many lives.
Meanwhile, the British and the U.S. Army are quietly grinding against each other following a boundary dispute, leaving men like Captain George Edward Pickett in a tight situation. In charge of the nearby Union fort, Pickett does his best to maintain his authority while he struggles with tragic events in his past.
Weaving these story threads together into a powerful whole, Gerard LaSalle tells the story of an unforgettable American adventure.
A copy of this title was provided via Smith Publicity for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.