Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review-The Wolves of Andover, by Kathleen Kent

By Kathleen Kent
320 pages
Reagan Arthur Books
Published November 2010

Synopsis from the publisher:

"A story of love and intrigue from America's earliest days, by the author of the national bestseller The Heretic's Daughter.

In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and for his mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War. But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether in the form of the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves—in many guises—who hunt for blood. A love story and a tale of courage, The Wolves of Andover confirms Kathleen Kent's ability to craft powerful stories of historical drama.

My Review

If you read Heretic’s Daughter and liked it as much as I did, then The Wolves of Andover will be a gratifying encore! Taking place in Massachusetts, during the Colonial time period beginning in 1649, the setting is a personal favorite of mine. As the author states in her author’s notes at the beginning of the novel, the characters are based on actual people. In 1692, Martha Allen Cartier was accused and hanged as a witch in Salem. She was married to Thomas Cartier and had children with him. Kent weaves a dramatic story of intrigue around these two characters based on her research and family lore.

Thomas, in the novel, is pursued by a party of ruthless men, desperate to capture him. Their cold indifference to life and harsh methods of acquiring information are brutal. The action provided by the relentless stalkers is chilling at times reflecting the barbaric and crude methods of punishment and slow painful death and suffering of the condemned typical during this period. Kent holds nothing back in this boldly graphic and haunting tale.

Martha, comes to live with Patience and husband, Daniel. To date, her woeful nature has discouraged any suitable marital possibilities. She has come to assist her cousin Patience with her pregnancy. Martha is determined to be more than a servant and soon insinuates herself as a strong force in the household. A blooming courtship between the obdurate and wise Martha and the mysteriously silent and serious Thomas is predictable and satisfying. Kent gently teases the reader as their friendship and trust for each other moves forward with just the right sensual tension and sweetness.

As I read The Wolves of Andover, I became curious about the political and religious climate in England during the reign of King Charles I that led to his execution. I love when historical fiction is an impetus to pursue further study of history. Once again, Kathleen Kent has written an inspiring read that will give you much to ponder and generate inquiry into the past.

Disclosure: I received The Wolves of Andover from the publisher.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I loved The heretic's Daughter, and your review makes me want to buy this one, but got to wait until 2011 to read it....thanks for getting me excited about it.

wisteria said...

I really liked Heretic's Daughter also! I hope you do get to this one in 2011. Can you believe it is already that time of year? Amazing. Glad I hooked you with the review. Thanks....