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Shadowbrook: A Novel of Love, War, and the Birth of America Paperback – Mar 7 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (March 7 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743228138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743228138
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Swerling's sweeping fictional account of the French and Indian War rivals Harold Coyle's 1997 novel, Savage Wilderness, in its masterful treatment of the hardship, brutality and treachery of America's colonial wars. Covering the years 1754–1760, with the British, French and Indians slaughtering each other for king and empire, Swerling tells of two men who straddle the white and red man's worlds, desperate to preserve the best of each culture, but fearful they will lose everything they love. Quentin Hale is a gentleman turned scout whose family owns a prosperous New York plantation called Shadowbrook. He is white, but also follows the Indian ways of his adopted tribe, the Potawatomi. Cormac Shea is part-Irish and part-Indian, nearly a brother to Hale, but he wants all whites driven from Canada. Together these men find themselves caught up in a bloody war neither wants, but they must fight to save the plantation and create a homeland for the Indians. Hale faces treachery at home from his sadistic and greedy elder brother, John; from a scheming one-eyed Scot; and from lying, corrupt politicians who want to steal his legacy; he also has an Indian enemy who wants to cut out his heart. Hale and Shea fight in many battles, mostly massacres, from Louisbourg and Fort William Henry to the climactic battle at Quebec. Surrounding them are colorful historical figures like the young George Washington, the hapless General Braddock and the powerful Ottawa chief, Pontiac. Swerling also cleverly reveals the arrogant influence of the Catholic Church in politics, the duplicity of governmental promises and the forced migration of Acadians from Nova Scotia. The complexity of the history involved may daunt some readers, but most will be captivated by Swerling's intricate plot, colorful characters and convincing descriptions of colonial life.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

After her success in vividly detailing colonial New York in City of Dreams (2001), Swerling turns her attention to mid-eighteenth-century Ohio, where the French and Indian War inflames passions and sparks intrigue in the inhabitants of this richly fertile region. At the center of the story are Quentin Hale, the rebellious younger son of the prosperous Shadowbrook plantation, and Cormac Shea, the son of a Potowatomi woman and an Irish fur trader. Raised together on the plantation, Quent and Corm are caught up in the ever-growing hostilities between the English and^B the French. Underscoring the dramatic tension and fast-paced action is the blood feud brewing between the Shadowbrook heirs and the tender love story evolving between Quentin and Nicole Crane, a beautiful young Frenchwoman who has committed her future to the Poor Clares religious order. This spellbinding historical adventure highlights an often overlooked episode on the road to American independence. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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MISERERE MEI, DEUS . . . Have mercy on me, Lord, according to the greatness of Your mercy. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Curious on March 16 2004
Format: Hardcover
I won't sketch the plot again as this has already been done above. Several things struck me as I read Shadowbrook. The first was how much popular fiction in the hands of a gifted writer can achieve. The descriptions of those things one can see, the things that might be captured by a cinematographer, are rendered in such beautiful and evocative language that you forget at times you're not watching the big screen. The things one cannot see, the things that must be coaxed from cinematic image with inference, are conjured by Swerling with such skill that the reader thinks, dreams, smells, schemes and feels along with the book's characters. This clean access to the "unseeable" is one of the advantages novels enjoy over film and TV. Ironically it is the element most of today's writers have sacrificed, apparently believing they must do so to emulate the torrid pace of cinema. Swerling has shown that this is an unnecessary sacrifice, at least for a writer as talented as she: Shadowbrook, while rich in its treatment of the "unseeable," moves along at an absolutely breathtaking pace. The depth given by Swerling to her characters and settings leaves you feeling at book's end that you've traveled through time, that you've been places and met people you'll never forget.
I also found refreshing how distant events are viewed from the inside out, i.e. from the vantage point of the characters rather than from a faraway observer smothering us with facts. In Shadowbrook one sees history for what it is: a great human tide that defines us as quickly as we create it.
Finally, I loved the way Swerling shows how our thoughts and actions are shaped by the prism of belief through which we view the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Collins on March 10 2004
Format: Hardcover
Having read and absolutely loved City of Dreams, I was anxious to get my hands on Shadowbrook the minute I could and I had it preordered on Amazon as a result. I was not disapointed in any way, yet again Ms Swerling has made the perfect mix of historical research and interest with a blinding story this time of the sultry south. I have a fascination with the historical aspects of her books, always so interesting and with so much detail that you really lose yourself in the time and place. But unlike equally well researched books with an interesting factual basis like the Di Vinci code, Ms Swerling's charaters are living breathing believable human beings and she spins a yarn that keeps you hooked throughout. I really recommend this book to anyone interested in recent history and/or who enjoys a compulsive story line. I also recommend City of Dreams to any who haven't read that yet either.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great combination of history with a great story filled with believable characters -- brothers raised with one foot in the white man's world and another in the world of the Indian. The priests, nuns, slaves, soldiers, and Indians of many tribes all play a part in this closely intertwined plot which involves land ownership, the church and its power, the Indian fight for survival, and a love story. My only complaint might be that the many Indian tribes became confusing and some of the battle scenes became difficult to follow. The plot really does depend on minute details -- sometimes almost too many to remember especially if the book is read over a period of time (just didn't have the time to read -- it really is a page turner most of the time). Overall, I felt this was a better book than City of Dreams -- more realistic, yet interesting characters. Shadowbrook paints a picture of a time when our country was being formed with all the good people, the bad people, and the many in between who were caught in circumstances beyond their control and were looking at the world in the only way they knew. Overall, a good historical read.
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By Curious on March 16 2004
Format: Hardcover
I won't sketch the plot again as this has already been done above. Several things struck me as I read Shadowbrook. The first was how much popular fiction in the hands of a gifted writer can achieve. The descriptions of those things one can see, the things that might be captured by a cinematographer, are rendered in such beautiful and evocative language that you forget at times you're not watching the big screen. The things one cannot see, the things that must be coaxed from cinematic image with inference, are conjured by Swerling with such skill that the reader thinks, dreams, smells, schemes and feels along with the book's characters. This clean access to the "unseeable" is one of the advantages novels enjoy over film and TV. Ironically it is the element most of today's writers have sacrificed, apparently believing they must do so to emulate the torrid pace of cinema. Swerling has shown that this is an unnecessary sacrifice, at least for a writer as talented as she: Shadowbrook, while rich in its treatment of the "unseeable," moves along at an absolutely breathtaking pace. The depth given by Swerling to her characters and settings leaves you feeling at book's end that you've traveled through time, that you've been places and met people you'll never forget.
I also found refreshing how distant events are viewed from the inside out, i.e. from the vantage point of the characters rather than from a faraway observer smothering us with facts. In Shadowbrook one sees history for what it is: a great human tide that defines us as quickly as we create it.
Finally, I loved the way Swerling shows how our thoughts and actions are shaped by the prism of belief through which we view the world.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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