Daniel Dickenson, recently widowed, has to leave his home in a Quaker community in Brandywine in 1798 after being shunned for homing and then marrying a 15 year old Methodist orphan. He has five children whom he takes with him to Virginia where he plans to build a home for his young family. His oldest daughter, Mary is intolerant of Daniels new bride whom she sees as a threat and his relationship with Mary is further soured by his decision to move and take her away from her grandparents and friends. Once the family reach their destination and have acquired land, Daniel goes to an auction where he involuntarily bids on a young slave boy, losing his prized mare to cover the cost of this unintended purchase, this has a huge impact on his family and neighbours, not least two subsequent deaths.
I found this book hard to get into the flow of initially but once the story established itself I found it compelling. I liked the way Daniel grapples with his loss of faith in God but knows no other way but the Quaker way. The mixed message the children receive from parents and neighbours, on the back-drop of very difficult living conditions was also what made the story and its outcome interesting. This is not a book with a rapid pace but it seems very well laden with detail and characterisations to make it a good read.
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