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Hardcover A Killing in Plymouth Colony Book

ISBN: 0618275975

ISBN13: 9780618275977

A Killing in Plymouth Colony

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

There had never before been a murder in Plymouth colony. In a community founded on such high ideals and strong principles, the very idea was unthinkable, but the facts were undeniable: John Newcomen... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Good but possibly not historically accurate

A Killing at Plymouth Colony has many opportunities for a reader to reflect on how life has changed and how it has stayed the same. The cast of characters is familiar a forgotten son, town drunk, adorable girl who loves animals, best friend, loving mother, and cold father. John Bradford is the forgotten son of Governor William Bradford. Seeking a hand on the shoulder, a kind word or at least to make his father's eyes seems happy, John thinks he must be a failure who doesn't deserve love, though his step mother assures him this isn't true. Intertwined with family discord is the murder of John Newcomen, the suddenly trance of Rebecca which renders her mute and young John's first voyage to the trading post at Aptucxet. In the end the murderer is found and Rachel recovers, but John Bradford is no closer to understanding his father. Readers may giggle over the Pilgrim's speech because of their use of thy, thou and words ending in `eth' like seeth. This use of archaic language and the historical explanations at both beginning and end of the book allow the reader to see how little we have progressed in terms of our own human nature, we are still quick to judge and quick to blame even when a life is at stake. Additionally the pilgrims intense fear of witches may seem laughable but it is not unlike the public hysteria over sensationalized issues like shark attacks and Africanized honey bees, though its 300 years later America still has `witch hunts'.


Carol Otis Hurst and Rebecca Otis combined their talents to write this historical novel set in the Plymouth Colony of Massachusetts. In 1630 John Bradford was eleven, and finding it tough to be the son of the colony's high-minded governor, William Bradford. When John's mother died at his birth, he was left with surrogate parents in Holland for the 1st eight years of his life. The intervening years would inevitably make a reunion difficult and John feels almost totally estranged from his father. He empathizes with John Billington who is often drunk and NOT an upright citizen. Both are frequently reprimanded by the governor. Happily, there is a friend: Sam Eaton contributes some normality to his life. Sam's five-year-old sister is traumatized when a member of the colony is killed. The book's cover picture shows the tormented Rachel sitting in a tree, hidden from the black-hatted colonists below who are planning to hunt down the murderer, someone trusted by Rachel. The book brings into focus the *ordinariness* of daily life; however, their struggles were not play-acting like "survivors" on television. The father-son conflict is not entirely resolved in the story; "relationships" were not coddled in the harsh physical and social/emotional climate of those times! In an "afterword" information is given about some of the book's characters who were actually colonists. REVIEWER mcHAIKU would be interested to learn if readers are primarily boys but recommends this book to all ages, and readers well beyond Massachusetts.
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