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  • Reanne Powell

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

This book is amazing! I always recommend it to those looking for quality historical fiction.

I first read Burning Sky many years ago, and it got me hooked on Lori Benton's books. She has such a beautiful way of immersing the reader in the complexities of life on the American frontier.

Burning Sky is the story of Willa Obenchain, a woman who was taken from her family and raised by a Mohawk tribe. When Willa returns to her parents old homestead twelve years later, she finds it long abandoned and the land rights in question. After finding a wounded Scotsman in her path, she is forced to realize that her plans for a solitary life might not be what God has in store.

This is a story of courage and loss, grief and hope. Both the setting and the characters are vividly portrayed. You can tell that the author is a photographer, as she captures the intricate details that make you feel like you’re standing in the dirt and feeling the rough wood of the cabin walls.

If you’re wanting an escape into the rugged wilderness of the 18th century, find yourself a copy of this book (or anything else that Lori Benton has written). It’s slow and immersive, and I guarantee you'll want to take a long, quiet walk in the woods afterwards.


Overall: 5/5

Age: 15+

Content: mentions of violence, death of family members, child abduction, tensions between settlers and the Mohawks and other tribes, light romance


It's an older book, so the easiest way to purchase is online:

Canada: Paperback - Kindle - Audio

From the back cover:

A Christy award-winning novel about a woman caught between two worlds, and the lengths she goes to find where she belongs

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence: her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?


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