Arundel

Where's this book been?
by Kenneth Roberts | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780892723645 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/14/2019
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, August 14, 2019
I got this book from a local Salvation Army thrift shop, for another release copy.

I initially read this book after I learned about Arnold's march to Quebec in Through a Howling Wilderness; while Arundel is fiction, it does treat the historical events accurately.

I really did enjoy this book. It's written in a lively style that brings in historical figures in a more personal light, and that sketches the lives of the settlers in pre-Revolutionary days with a clear look at how they viewed the political strife. It's also something of a love story, though narrator Steven is clueless for the majority of the book as to the fact that the marvelously tough and resourceful Phoebe - with whom he's had a snarky and insult-laden relationship since both were children - loves him. Steven becomes fixated on young Mary Mallinson after a flirtatious moment; they're both quite young, but he's still smitten, and when she's kidnapped by a dastardly Frenchman he vows to get her back. But he's still a child, and though his father leads a search, the fleeing party makes a clean getaway and Steven goes back home. (While Steven's not very aware when it comes to relationships, he's a good person, open-minded in matters other than Mary; among other things, he's happy to help Phoebe get a ship of her own to command, a rarity at the time, and he has a close friendship with an Abenaki youth and shows considerable respect for the ways of that tribe.)

I knew from early on that Mary was not the girl for Steven, but the truth went even farther - I won't spoil the details. But Steven doesn't find this out for ages, even though many of the other characters figure it out much earlier; Steven just refuses to believe them. (He's stubborn, but charming despite his cluelessness.) After he's grown, he still keeps an ear open for news of Mary, and that's part of what attracts him to Benedict Arnold's cause: he's heard that Mary might be in Quebec, and if they can only get there and defeat the English maybe he can rescue her!

The actual trek through the wilds of Maine - at the worst possible time of year for such a trip, and with the wrong equipment (against Steven's advice) - is deadly, as I had already learned from Through a Howling Wilderness, but here it includes characters we've come to know and love. By the time the survivors reach Quebec and then have to cope with actual combat, things don't look good for our heroes...

The conclusion is quite satisfactory as regards the main characters, though others don't come off as well - including Arnold, who despite his many talents and undoubted charisma has shown some serious flaws. But Steven and his closest friends make it home at last, just in time for the Revolutionary War {wry grin}.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Burgess Farm Rd in Dracut, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Released 1 yr ago (8/16/2019 UTC) at Little Free Library, Burgess Farm Rd in Dracut, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book in this charming Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2019 One-Word Title release challenge. ***

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