Thursday, December 23, 2010

Deceptions, a Jamestown Novel by Marilyn J. Clay

     Marilyn J. Clay has done her homework with meticulous care for her novel Deceptions.  The book is set in Jamestown in 1617 and Clay was careful to keep her characters within the framework of the strict moral codes which governed at that time.  Men were all powerful and women had almost no rights at all.  Husbands were the rulers of the house and village and women were there to see that the man had what ever he wanted.
     Catherine Parke escapes England when her guardian decides it is time for Catherine to marry a man she doesn't love.  Catherine happens to meet Pocahontas right before the Indian princess dies in England and she feels a close bond with the Indian princess.  Catherine takes passage on  a ship to Jamestown where she hopes to be reunited with her father, her brother, and the man she has loved since childhood.
     Life in 1617 Jamestown is harder than Catherine had ever imagined but she survives and even thrives.  Her brother is still alive and so is her childhood love, but Noah is no longer the fun-loving, gentle boy he was in England.  Catherine's brother, Adam, warns her against Noah, but Catherine is still living her dream of marrying Noah and the two of them finding peace and happiness together.  Fortunately, Catherine discovers Noah's duplicity just in time to save herself and her baby.
     Deceptions is a great read just for the romance and the character interaction, but its real draw is the historical accuracy of the setting.  It is amazing that Jamestown was able to get a toehold in the New World and to hold on to that fragile link long enough to really get the town established.  The book gives the reader that feeling of fragility and how, in spite of the governors sent by England to rule the colony, the common people of Jamestown were the force that maintained the colony.  It was the people who were willing to work for the common good who kept the colony going.  The relationship of the people to the Indians was equally important and, in 1617, the Indians were mostly still amenable to the whites.
     You will walk away from Deceptions not only remembering Catherine and Phyrahawque but also those determined colonists who set the framework for our country.
     Look for more carefully researched historical romance from Marilyn J. Clay.

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