My Father's Kingdom

A Novel of Puritan New England

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
169 Pages
Reviewed on 02/18/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite

Can people from different worlds co-exist together within the confines of a specific geographic area? In the historical fictional story, My Father's Kingdom: A Novel of Puritan New England by James W. George, in the 17th century, the Native Americans and the whites not only had different viewpoints on life, but prayed and worshiped differently. My Father's Kingdom displays that these differences can incite fear and distrust instead of encouraging elements of change and improved methods of being. Linto (Montaup) and Reverend Brewster (Middleborough) both saw the world differently than that of their ancestors. They both saw some relevance in their traditional upbringing, but also saw the value in those whose lives were different than their own. Linto saw the white religion as confusing and contradictory, but realized some of validity in it, while Reverend Brewster was challenged with the tasks of convincing the townspeople to live a more spiritual life and to spend less time focusing on the “savages” and blaming them for the travesty affecting the town of Middleborough. Can't we all just get along?

Reading a historical fiction like My Father's Kingdom was a great experience. James W. George was able to successfully draw me into such a complex era as I read through the pages, and I came away from the story enlightened by the time period in which the story was set. Delving into My Father's Kingdom was not only an easy read, but James W. George was able create a feeling of engagement and passion as I followed the lives of Linto and Reverend Brewster. My Father's Kingdom has a lot of the elements that historically Native Americans and whites faced during the 16th and 17th century era - from disease, illnesses and betrayal to developing kinship between cultures. If you are interested in historical fiction, My Father's Kingdom: A Novel of Puritan New England by James W. George has everything and does not disappoint.

Gisela Dixon

My Father's Kingdom: A Novel of Puritan New England by James W. George is a historical fiction novel set in the mid to late 1600s in New England, when the first settlers arrived in America from England. Although the characters are fictional, the events are based on real history that led to King Philip’s War. The story starts off with an introduction to Linto, a member of the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans who have inhabited that land for ages, and who provides an insider’s account of the mind and views of the Wampanoag tribe. On the other hand, Reverend Israel Brewster is a young minister from a Puritan background who wants to do good and wants peace, and he provides us with a glimpse into the inner world of the new settlers. As the story progresses, the uneasy relations between the original settlers and the newer Puritans reach a head after Massasoit dies, ultimately leading to King Philip’s War.

My Father's Kingdom: A Novel of Puritan New England by James W. George is a thought-provoking read about an important era of early American history. I liked the character portrayal because it shows that every man has shades of grey, and no one is absolutely right or wrong, especially when it comes to large groups of people. The writing and setting make this novel an authentic read. Having lived in and visited several of the places mentioned in the book, reading the book certainly made those places come alive in how they used to be centuries ago. The plot, the true events on which the story is based, and the engaging writing make this a fun as well as an enlightening read.

Deborah Lloyd

My Father's Kingdom is an excellent historical novel, depicting a time period that receives little attention in most American history accounts. The focus is the 1670s, fifty years after the settlement of Plymouth Colony. Often called the New England, the Colony is now comprised of the children and grandchildren of the original settlers, and relationships with the Native Americans are shifting. The historical story described in My Father’s Kingdom: A Novel of King Philip’s War, written by James W. George, is compelling and intriguing in numerous ways. The novel is comprised of both fictional and nonfictional characters. One of the main characters is Reverend Israel Brewster, the widowed clergyman in the Puritan community. While maintaining his religious beliefs, he also offers a more balanced and compassionate stance towards the Native American tribes, unlike the Colony’s leaders. Similarly, several main characters are from the local tribes; these include Linto and his lover Wawetseka, Metacomet (called King Philip by the English), and others. The beliefs and actions of both factions culminate in the devastating King Philip’s war.

The author very skillfully captures the time period, the belief systems, the challenges of daily life, and other aspects of these clashing cultures. He interweaves the community and political aspects with the personal lives of the leaders and its people with ease. There is a smooth flow in his writing style. The characters are well-developed and interesting. Although there are many characters representing numerous factions, the reader can follow each one effortlessly. At the end of this historical work, author James W. George notes this is the first of a series. Readers will look forward to the continuing story!

Ellie Midwood

I love historical fiction and I always look forward to diving into a new story that will not only entertain me but also enrich my knowledge of history. “My Father’s Kingdom” is definitely one of such stories. Rich in multi-dimensional and compelling characters, the atmosphere of the 17th century Puritan New World pulled me right in. What I also appreciated was how the author masterfully interweaved true historical events with fictional ones, this way presenting true history of the New World in an even more riveting way.
The story itself is told mainly through the eyes of two main characters – a young Linto from the Wampanoag tribe and Reverend Israel Brewster – a spiritual leader of a small town in a Plimoth colony. The parallels and striking differences between two of the worlds they represented, the interactions and attitudes of two proud nations trying to coexist in peace were fascinating to follow. But what appealed to me even more was how the views concerning such co-existence differed among the English settlers: those like Israel who was more than welcoming and open-minded towards his Wampanoag neighbors, and assistant governor Winslow, who considered them nothing more than savages and has his mind set on erasing them off the face of the earth a long time ago.
Without giving away too much of the plot let me just tell you that it was indeed a great read. Everyone interested in the New England history should definitely pick it up. Five stars!