Cover Image: Beside the Long River

Beside the Long River

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Member Reviews

The story of a young Puritan girl who emigrates with her family to New England in the early years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Struggling under the harsh rule of the theocracy, the family makes the dangerous trek to the Connecticut Valley with the Reverend Thomas Hooker and his congregation who established Hartford. There she meets a young Native American girl and her brother who captivates her with their lifestyle. When the Pequot War explodes across the colony, Sarah is determined to stop the bloodshed to protect her friends.

My of my favorite historical periods, I enjoyed reading this story of a rebellious teenager in a time when behavior was strictly controlled. I would recommend this book to lovers of American Historical Fiction.
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A new to me author that I feel has done a fantastic job in bringing the Indians and Puritans to life.
I felt every emotion and  every action. So powerful!
I enjoyed the description of the scenery made me feel like I was there. 
I didn't want to leave!
I admired Sarah so much! She was definitely a woman before her time. Brave too! I'd love to be more like her!
Ayaks was so handsome! The author has portrayed him just right and I could see him standing there so tall and proud! 
5 stars for the fabulous writing of this book. 
I was not disappointed at all!
The coverof this book was just beautiful! It certainly can make the imagination run wild!
How wonderful it would be to see the land as these people had seen it! 
I enjoyed Sarah's and Ayaks's journey so much!
Thank you for taking the time to write this amazing story!
I highly recommend it!
My thanks for a copy of this book.  I was NOT required to write a positive review. 
All opinions are my own!
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Beside the Long River brings a story of a Puritan family who leaves England for Massachusetts. It is mostly the story of Sarah, at thirteen she doesn’t want to leave England and her best friend behind.  In America, she becomes friends with a native girl and her brother, who are Pequot Indians. Thus, the story involves the bloody Pequot War of 1636. 

The story is plot-driven and has a fast pace, but it misses the sense of place and time. At times, I wished the story slowed down and developed depth so a reader could get a sense of time and place. 

Even though, the story is plot-driven, I still wished the characters were better developed as it’s hard to get attached to them when everything is so brief.

If you like plot-driven fast-paced story with brief descriptions, then it might be the right story for you.
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Louella Bryant’s Beside the Long River published by Black Rose Writing describes Sara Lyman’s coming of age story. Set in 17th century Connecticut, Sara transforms from an English immigrant to a thoughtful young woman who questions the Puritan’s teachings about the indigenous people and how an obedient daughter should live. Sarah admires the Native American’s mobile lifestyle and how the indigenous people harvest from the wilderness instead of subduing it. Sara angers her parents when she becomes friends with Minno, a member of the Pequot tribe. Minno teaches Sara about maple sugaring and how to harvest spring ferns to cook as greens while Sara explains to Minno how to print her name. 
Bryant introduces a love interest to the narrative when Sara develops affections for Minno’s half-brother, Ayaks, whose father was a Dutch trader. As the story progresses, Sara realizes how Ayaks must choose which heritage he will choose to follow, the Pequot’s whose world is collapsing or the white man’s ways.
Within Beside the Long River, Bryant weaves metaphors from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to enrich Sara’s internal dialogue and show how universal themes run throughout literature. Bryant’s attention to historical details in both the narrative and dialogue shows extensive research. This historical novel would be excellent in a classroom as an example of the conflicts affecting early New England settlers and their responses.
 to the challenges of entering a new world..
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