Afiq Zuhair Zuhair itibaren Riali Kalan, Punjab 143507, Hindistan
The first book I ever got -- pre-natal even! And yet, over a quarter-century later, I'm still captivated by its alternating sadism and eucatastrophes!
An absolutely wonderful love story set in early colonial America on the edge of the wilderness. The puritan girl Elizabeth runs away from home to escape an unwanted suitor, and is rescued by Wakwa, a Narragansett Indian. Do not be put off by this common plot device! This story is so well told, with wonderful, poetic prose, genuine historical details, complex, believable characters, realistic clash of culture and religion, and a truly beautiful sense of setting. I still remember the moonlight canoe ride on the river, and the swans in the mist, the scene that gave the book its title. The dialog is very well written, with an archaic courtliness that perfectly fits the time and culture, nothing in it to jar you out of the story. There is a glossary of many Narragansett words and phrases in the back of the book, (from a book by Roger Williams!) which you will need to use fairly often. This is not a lightweight, fluffy, and ultimately meaningless romance. Read only if you are in the mood for some serious historical fiction, adult characters that are not stereotypes, and truly honest discussion of cultural differences and expectations. The book has some sex scenes and violence that give it an R rating. There is a sequel, Torn Covenants.