|About the Book|
In spring 1775, Joshua Shattuck escapes a cruel Boston indenture to live anonymously in an Acadian settlement on the northern Vermont frontier near Lake Champlain. He and his newfound Acadian friend, Rob MacKensie, soon find the simple, rustic life of the Acadians torn by savage colonial warfare. Driven by economic opportunity and a sense of adventure, Joshua and Rob accompany Colonel Henry Knoxs noble train of artillery over the rough, unforgiving hills of the Berkshires in a challenging 300 mile winter march to bring the guns of Ticonderoga to Washington in Boston. The neutral Acadians find themselves in harms way as General Johnny Burgoynes army of redcoats and Hessians cuts through their settlement in 1777. Joshua, thinking that his wretched servants life is over, discovers that a ruthless Boston bounty hunter seeking his capture turns up in the invading army. As the redcoats and rebels clash, Tories capture Rob and press him into service as a translator where he becomes witness to the slow deterioration of the Royal army attempting to split the New England colonies from their neighbors. Raids, ambushes and treacheries abound, including the brutal death and scalping of a beautiful Tory woman, as the redcoat tide finally spends itself at Bennington and Saratoga. Rob and Joshua find themselves drawn to two young women, Phoebe, a beautiful, cultured Tory, and Amalie, a practical, stalwart Acadian, as they confront danger and class barriers while seeking to assure the simplicity and integrity of the Acadian settlement and their own survival. Their personal conflicts are finally resolved in an unexpected denouement in an Albany brothel and a forest confrontation. Those to the manor born, rustic Acadians, their metis kin, wronged Abenaki Indians and blacks as well as spiteful and heroic colonial soldiers enliven this novel of a crucial period of the American Revolution in the northern wilderness.