Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday that commemorates the people who came to this country to seek freedom from their oppressive ruler and to gain the ability to worship as they chose. As I think on all the many reasons I have to be thankful, the fact that I was born in a time and place of such freedom is high on my list. Thus, it's very appropriate to take a little time today to think about the ways in which that freedom came to be - through the courage of brave men and women who stood up for their beliefs and weren't afraid to face their challenges, and overcame them, often at the cost of their own lives.
L.C. Lewis has written an incredible series to honor some of those very first men and women, the first generation raised on American soil after the Founding Fathers established the government that would set us apart from every other nation on earth. The newest installment in this series, "Dawn's Early Light," has just been released, and I'm honored to receive a copy to review.
Being a historical fiction author myself, I was immediately struck by the richness of Lewis's language and how I felt sucked into the era, and with the nearly seamless way history is blended with fiction. Writing historical fiction is hard. Finding a balance between facts and fantasy, seeking ways to deliver the information without sounding stiff - it's always a challenge. I believe Lewis has risen to that challenge.
I felt myself filled with compassion as young farmer-turned-soldier, Jed Pearson, returns home after a long absence to discover fugitive slaves hiding on his land. Rather than turning them over to the law, he immediately leaves his home again to guide them to safety, even though he's only been home a few minutes. He put the safety of those children of God ahead of his own wants and comforts because he knew what would happen to those slaves, should they be returned, and his sense of justice and mercy would not allow it. I loved seeing the story go forth on both sides of the Atlantic, and how it all came to a conclusion.
As the years roll by and we find ourselves more separated from these events that gave us our freedom, it becomes easy to forget. Fully two hundred years passed from the founding of the nation until my birth - I was born in 1976 - and it would be natural for me to let those important historical landmarks fade in my mind. After all, aren't they just stories, passed down from generation to generation? No, they are not, and we would be a very ungrateful nation if we didn't learn everything we could about our history and share that knowledge with our children. I confess, I haven't read the first two novels in L. C. Lewis's series, but having read the third, I'm going to get the first two, read them, and give them to my children to read as part of their education in what makes us free.
Readers: leave your comments in the trail for this post and be entered in a drawing to receive a free copy of this book, as well as a chance to win this beautiful necklace, compliments of L. C. Lewis.