We usually think of Indians in novel as being the western variety conflicting with settlers and cowboys. Rarely do we think that when our nation was very young and during the westward settlement push in the east, the Native Americans were being pushed from their home territory and hunting grounds to accommodate the influx of farmers and entrepreneurs.
“The Return” by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a book about the German settlers in the state known as Pennsylvania and settled by William Penn. Most of these settlers fled Europe to avoid religious prosecution and were content to forge their own simple lives in the New World. Their relationship with the natives was mostly peaceful; but the conflict known as the French and Indian Wars caused havoc and terror among the settlers.
In “The Return”, Ms. Fisher addresses the problem of Indiana attacks and the terror of being taken captive. Taking scalps and gruesome murders by the “savages” was a normal result of an Indian attack. Betsy Zook’s mother and father were killed in a raid on their farm. Betsy and one of her brothers were taken captive while the younger brother hid until the attack was over and he was able to go for help. Her kidnapping caused a domino effect throughout the territory and caused some of the settlers to exact revenge on innocent natives.
I very much enjoyed this look into the history of the early years of our nation. Ms. Fisher writes with much enthusiasm and historical knowledge. It is evident in her portrayal of the settlers and Indians in this novel.
I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Revell Publishers and a Kindle copy from NetGalley.com and was under no obligation to post a review.