Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Iron Peacock

by Mary Stetson Clarke

This one is the tale of a young woman, Joanna, who is fleeing from Oliver Cromwell's England with her father. Her father dies on the journey over to New England and upon arrival in Boston, she finds herself sold as an indentured servant to cover the cost of their fare. Her service is bought by a Mr. John Gifford, owner of the iron works in the village of Hammersmith. The rest of the book tells the tale of Joanna's adjustment to life as a bondservant in a new settlement in North America. The story itself is somewhat mediocre and quite predictable in places. The characterization is a bit better, but what really makes the book worth checking out is the setting. Ms. Clarke does a good job of making the surroundings come alive, from the forests of Massachusetts to the life of a outsider amongst a community of Puritans. Colonial America in the mid 17th Century is not an era which with I'm familiar. Most history books tend to jump from the landing of the Mayflower to the Revolutionary War. This was an interesting peek into a time in between, as the immigrants slowly began to put down roots and a new society began to form.
LibraryThing link


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