Review Blog

Apr 23 2009

A world away by Pauline Francis

cover image

Usborne, 2009.
(Ages 14+) Somewhere between an historical novel and a romance, A World Away will suit well with girls of a romantic disposition, immersed in the contact between the old and new worlds, through the eyes of an apprentice blacksmith from Portsmouth and an Indian girl. Nadie, the Indian girl is captured by a group of settlers in New England, and taken back to England as a curiosity. There she remains with a family and meets Tom, the son of a blacksmith. Together they work out the idiosyncratic behaviour of each of their tribes, and Nadie, anxious to return to her home, is taken aboard a settlers ship bound for New England.Tom is persuaded that if he wishes to return the girl to her family, and marry her, he must travel to the colony as well.
Here they encounter huge difficulties. The relationship between the new settlers and the Indians is going from bad to worse and our two heroes find that they are trusted by neither side. Amongst the long story, told in alternate chapters by our two protagonists, is a look at the conflict between the English settlers and the American Indians. At first helpful, the Indians soon realised that the new settlers were here to stay, and trouble ensued. An easy to read, if overlong but pacy novel about the meeting of two cultures with an outcome seen the world over when the two collide.
Fran Knight

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