In the early months of 1775, war is brewing in the American colonies. Although frightened, 18-year-old Betsy Russell of Menotomy Village, Massachusetts, wants to be prepared in case of attack by British troops. Her father, prosperous farmer Jason, is the fourth generation of Russells on this land, yet their very rights as British Colonials are being stripped away one by one. Will the King of England take their land as well? Tensions are growing here in the countryside west of Boston and the outbreak of battle seems a certainty.
Jason desperately wants to protect his family - his wife, children, and grandchildren - and their future. Betsy makes every attempt to be prepared for the worst. But not even the American militia could have predicted the bloody massacre that was about to occur right on the Russell's doorstep. If Betsy loses everything she holds dear, are the rights of all the Colonists endangered?
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©2014 Elaine Marie Cooper (P)2014 Elaine Marie Cooper
Too many of our youth today are ignorant of the history behind the freedoms they enjoy in the U.S. This is certainly a book that can give them insight into the dedication of the colonists, as well as the tribulations they endured while remaining true to their cause. While I enjoyed it as a quick read, I also felt that there could have been a little more character development. It seemed to end too soon...it felt like a lot of work was put into the beginning, but the ending was not well fleshed out. That being said, the length may be "just right" to capture and maintain the attention of the younger audience, and perhaps entice those readers to seek out similar historical fiction.
This book is a well-researched historical account of the Battle of Concord as told through the sympathetic and realistic eyes of an 18 year old girl. It starts off a bit stilted due to the language and historical conventions of the time, but you ease into the book quickly and the Betsy's telling of the Revolutionary War strikes home with immediate and realistic detail. I appreciated that this is not the typical YA that is centered on romance and idle youthfulness - Betsy and her family have no time for frivolity as they are fighting for their life, village, and country. It was an interesting view of the war as it came from the perspective of women and children rather than primarily of the men fighting. The account is very detailed and while the story is bleak and bloody, there is hope alive still in the aftermath of war.
Fields of the Fatherless is an Inspirational story set during before the Civil War in 1775 in a small village west of Boston. The story centers around 18-year-old Betsy Russell as she and her family prepares for an attack by British troops. Her father was a 4th generation farmer who feared his land being taken away, as so many others had been, in the name of the King of England. Before leaving for the militia, Betsy’s father instructs her to trust in God and to protect her family should he not return. Shortly after her father’s death, she takes a wounded confederate soldier into her care and tries to nurse him back to health. Despite censure from the community from doing so, she always acted as a good Christian woman should.
What I liked most about this story was the detailed descriptions. It was impossible not to have my heart racing during the battle and the tortured cries of the wounded. As a nice touch, Betsy’s journal entries and scripture verses begin each chapter.
Becca Ballenger did a good job narrating. She has a youthful voice that was easy to listen to and the characters came to life for me. Well done!
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