Wow .... just wow. You know that feeling when your partner hands you a gift and it's in a really little package and you know it is going to be an expensive and amazing gift? Well this book is like that. An amazing gift in a small package.
A fictional group of immigrants from The Netherlands land in America in the hopes of building a community that allows them to live and worship as they wish. Despite this description, the book is not what I would categorize 'Christian Fiction'. It is, more realistically, historical fiction that Libby Cone states is "a work of fiction loosely based on the story of the Plockhoy settlement." (if you are interested in more info on the Plockhoy settlement, Google it. If you want a more concise synopsis of this book, click here)
Pieter Boom takes his wife and son, Cornelis, to begin a new and better life in the New World in 1662. First twist: Cornelis is blind. He is also the narrator of the story. Consequently his descriptions are based mostly on smell. (The odorous descriptions of all the good food is why I blame Ms. Cone for the total destruction of my diet) The descriptive passages in the book are so vivid that I could smell the baking bread, the beer, the spices, the sun on the grass. Being blind also means that people tend to speak freely around Cornelis so he is privy to the goings on in the community and able to keep his family updated on the news of the day.
Second twist: life in America is not all it's cracked up to be. It starts off great but soon war intrudes on the idyllic life of the new community. It becomes apparent that tribulations are not endemic to where people live, instead they are endemic to living. And if the smells of food did damage to my diet, so did the smells of destruction - no meat for me for awhile.
I picked this 167 page gem off of my TBR pile this morning and before I knew it, I was closing the book on the last page. The narrative is easy to read although the language is true to the 1600's. There are lots of big words and the syntax is often unfamiliar but, somehow, the story doesn't get bogged down or lost in the vocabulary. This one is going to stick with me - in a good way.