Henderson's Spear Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Henderson's Spear

Holt, Mar 2002, 25.00, 368 pp.
ISBN: 0805069968

    In April 1990 from a jail cell on Tahiti, Olivia Wyvern writes a letter to the daughter she placed for adoption years ago. Olivia tries to explain what happened that led to her current “home”. Liv's father Jon was a Royal Air Force pilot who survived Hitler, but vanished during a Korean War mission leaving behind a grieving family of three women and Lord Jim the parrot. Though neither the plane nor his body was found his family always sought news on Jon.
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    In 1988, while Liv lived in Vancouver and her sister in London, Lord Jim dies and a few days later, mother passes away too. The two sisters go through two centuries of family stuff when Liv finds an 1899 journal written by Frank Henderson telling his adventures with Queen Victoria's grandsons Princes Eddy and George. This leads Liv to come to Tahiti to learn about Jon's disappearance. Instead she's arrested on phony murder and spy charges. While lingering in her cell, Liv learns about her own daughter, a product of a seducer who promised her information on Jon and never delivered.

   HENDERSON'S SPEAR is a complex historical tale that never loses its path while entertaining the audience. Though the narrator Liv tells the story late in the twentieth century, she relates her present predicament with the 1899 Henderson diary and the Korean War vanishing of her father without either account losing steam. The two subplots tie brilliantly back together as Ronald Wright proves he has the right stuff with a forceful twentieth century triumph that genre fans will appreciate.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Henderson's Spear

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   vague finding self/purpose in life (i.e. no plot to book) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Pregnancy/Child rearing    -   Yes Major part of story:    -   giving up children

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Pacific Islands

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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