Title: Burning Sky
Author: Lori Benton
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Published: August 2013 by WaterBrook Press (print) and April 2015 by Recorded Books (audio)
Genre: Historical Romance, Christian Fiction
Audio Length: 13.75 hours, Unabridged
About the Book (publisher’s description):
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.
Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. 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?
My Thoughts on the Book:
Burning Sky came to my attention quite some time ago, when it won not one, but three Christy Awards in the 2014 awards cycle. It won in both the first novel and historical categories, as well as receiving recognition as Book of the Year. Wow! So this one was already on my wish list when I saw that Recorded Books was releasing an audio edition. As you might expect from an audiobook lover like me, I was thrilled to learn about the new edition and I leapt at the chance for a review copy.
This book is well worth the listen! The story lived up to my expectations, with a deep and multifaceted plot, believable characters who have a lot at stake, and immersion in vivid historical details from a fascinating time in American history. Willa / Burning Sky is a strong and compelling heroine, caught between two worlds, facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, but determined to make a life for herself, even after suffering heartbreaking losses. Her character growth and healing make for a great story. And the suspense, mystery, and romance unfolding along the way makes it all the more captivating. This book is a must-read for fans of historical fiction who haven’t already read it.
Specific to the Audio Edition:
The narration of this audiobook by Saskia Maarleveld is excellent. The pacing is just right, narration spoken in a clear and pleasant voice, and the character voices stand out as unique and perfectly suited to the characters. The children’s voices struck me as some of the best I’ve heard among audiobooks read by adult narrators, and Neil MacGregor’s accent is simply wonderful.
Whether this is your first time reading the book, or if you’re considering reading it again, I highly recommend the audio edition.
The copy I received initially had a few tracks out of order, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a brand new and corrected copy of the audiobook on my doorstep a few weeks later. Gotta say, I’m impressed that Recorded Books went to the trouble of sending a replacement without my even having to ask. I think it really shows they care about the quality of their product and stand behind it.
A big thank you to Recorded Books for providing a complimentary copy of this audiobook for review purposes (and for sending a corrected copy). All opinions expressed are mine alone.