Bantam, Sep 2004, 27.00
In 1812 half-breed widow Hannah returns to the home of her father Nathaniel and step-mother Elizabeth following the deaths of her husband and their child. Nathaniel, Elizabeth, and Hannah's Aunt Many-Doves can see she has lost the will to live. Still, Hannah is a gifted healer and she brings hope and health to the needy of Paradise. This provides her with some solace and the beginnings of her own healing from the tragedy that has left her feel alone even amongst loved ones.
Although war seems imminent between America and England making oceanic passages dangerous and difficult, recently widowed Jennet, a distant cousin, arrives from Scotland. The recent deaths of their respective husbands does not provide a link between Hannah and Elizabeth as the latter refuses to discuss her tragedy while the former acknowledges relief following the end of her loveless marriage. Meanwhile Hannah's stepbrother eighteen-year-old Daniel joins the American militia, but becomes a prisoner of war. Only Hannah can set him free bit she must first liberate herself from her grief.
FIRE ALONG THE SKY is a deep look at the impact that the War of 1812 had on Americans who were somewhat distant from the front, but effected by loved ones joining the fight. The story line is character driven especially by the courage of several of the women, but mostly Hannah who serves as the center that keeps the complex tale together.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner