The White

by Deborah Larsen | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0375413596 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Breeni of Kannapolis, North Carolina USA on 2/3/2006
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Breeni from Kannapolis, North Carolina USA on Friday, February 03, 2006
"'I was born a white at sea on the way to the New World...But I was taken by those whom we called Indians. Nearly speechless for a time, I was beset by terrors.'

This is the voice of Mary Jemison, who, in 1758, at the age of sixteen, was taken by a Shawnee raiding party from her home near what would become Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In this intimate reimagining of her life story, Mary endures the brutal scalpings of her parents and siblings and is given to two Seneca sisters who treat her as their own--a symbolic replacement for the brother they lost to the white colonists. Renamed Two-Falling Voices, she gradually becomes integrated into her new family, learning to assist with the hunt and to cultivate corn. She marries a Delaware warrior, raises a family in her adoptive culture, becomes friends with two former slaves, and eventually, remarkably, fulfills her lifelong dream 'to own land bordered by sky, as my mother and father had once purchased woods and fields which were dappled with changing light.'

A testament to the resilience of the human mind and spirit, The White is a cut-crystal narrative of Mary's live among the Seneca, lit by flashes of her own voice and revealing her curious, open heart. From the novel's bloody opening to its arresting conclusion--by her own choice Mary does not return to white society--Deborah Larsen never flinches from the violence and the splendor that marked the settling of the New World."

Hardcover, (c)2002, 219 pages.

Reserved for RABCK to Aceofhearts.

The story jumps right into Mary's capture, which doesn't give the reader much time to get to know Mary and build a relationship with her. She remains somewhat aloof and robotic through the entire book and never seems to have had a very deep relationship with her white family. I've always been enamoured with this particular bit of history, however, because even though most people find it astonishing that she would have wanted to remain with her captors when she had to opportunity to escape, I've always thought that life must have been a degree richer and more spiritually satisfying with the Seneca. For a young girl who has lost her entire family and her ties to the white community, I would wager that reassimilating into English culture would have been awkward and Mary would have had a difficult time finding her niche.

Larsen's interpretation paints Mary as a very strong, independent young woman, who does not fear the Seneca, or death, for that matter. This may stem from the fact that she also appears to be an empty shell, possibly from the shock of her abduction. I found myself almost rejoicing when she married Sheninjee, as it seemed that a more caring and respectful husband could not be found. I felt that her adjustment into the Seneca/Delaware way of life might not have gone as smoothly without his support. Mary's life passes quickly through the pages of the book, and we become familiar with the many who loved her. It's difficult for me to say that Mary loved them in return, because she seemed to be such an empty shell of a person, devoid of emotion.

The novel is made up of many short, two- or three-page chapters that make reading progress very quickly. My guess is that the author is attempting to emulate the thought patterns of a person in shock, as Mary would have been, since the chapters grow longer the further one reads into the book and the longer Mary has been with her captors. This writing style also helps to maintain the reader's attention. This was not a book that I had been looking for or even knew existed, but I thought it would be an interesting read when I spotted it at a thrift store. I was not disappointed.

Journal Entry 2 by Breeni at on Saturday, February 11, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (2/11/2006 UTC) at



Sending to SandDanz to take to Aceofhearts at the BC convention.

Journal Entry 3 by SandDanz from New Albany, Indiana USA on Tuesday, March 21, 2006
putting with the convention pile to go to Ace! :)

Journal Entry 4 by SandDanz at on Friday, April 14, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (4/21/2006 UTC) at



Handing over to AceofHearts at the convention!

Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 23, 2006
received at the 2006 Toronto Convention. Thanks!! I wish I could have met Breeni also here.

Journal Entry 6 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, March 20, 2007
This is an interesting story of a young girl who is captured by the Shawnees during an Indian raid. I also found Mary to be devoid of much emotion. Mary seems to have been so traumatized by her experience that she at first doesn't speak or laugh and then just seems to go through the motions. She blames her father for his inaction at the time of the raid but suffers the same inaction several times during the book. Although the descriptions of Indian life and Mary's assimilation into it is fascinating, I found some of it hard to believe. I do not think the Indians would be worried about the slave girl's emotions. Also it is hard to believe that the whites would just leave Mary alone after they found out about her. Larsen does portray the Indians as a caring spiritual community.

Journal Entry 7 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, November 13, 2007
mailed today

Journal Entry 8 by redhot-brat from Delavan, Minnesota USA on Monday, November 26, 2007
This is one I've really been looking forward. I hope to read it soon. Thanks so much for sending.

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