Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Review: An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa's long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand--and heart--are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770.

My Review

I'm always amazed at how this author brings history to life and I feel transported to an era and location that I don't think I would have done well in. What stood out to me was the fear of an Indian attack on a daily basis. It's a fear for good reason, as we see in the novel, and the details about the differences between the various tribes were fascinating. The brutality that existed at the time is astounding to me. Tessa is tired of the constant anxiety and dreams of finer things, while also exhibiting a strength and confident sense of self. She is loyal to her family and still grieves the death of her father at the hands of natives. The variety of responses and the dynamics that emerged as Keturah returns to live with their family for a time were surprising and realistic. The story begins at a somewhat slow pace as we get to know the lifestyle the characters live in, but grows steadily as events begin to unfold until I couldn't put the book down until I reached the last page. I enjoyed the developing romance, but more than that I appreciated coming to know such unique characters with all their layers. Highly recommend!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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