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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk by Gail Combs Oglesby is set in the founding days of colonial Massachusetts. Told in the voice of a fictional Mayflower passenger named Sarah, it vividly depicts the tremendous challenges, hardships, and suffering the colonists faced as they attempted to establish a settlement in a strange land. Interwoven with historical figures and events, the plot moves at an engaging pace as Sarah’s life unfolds along with the growth and expansion of settlements in Plymouth and Boston. She experiences the dire struggle for food and medicine, changing relationships with Native Americans, the impact of civil war in England, accusations of witchcraft, a near-deadly wolf attack, a rape attempt, a major fire, and the loss of beloved friends and family.
In On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk, Gail Combs Oglesby gives us an utterly moving and at times heart-wrenching dramatization of the reality of life in colonial Massachusetts. The narrative is emotionally and graphically descriptive. Written as a tribute to the ordinary women whose sacrifices made it possible for their descendants to thrive and prosper, it masterfully hits the mark. You can’t read Sarah’s words and hear her inner thoughts without gaining a greater appreciation for the hope, faith, tenacity, strong-mindedness, and personal courage that women displayed in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and grave danger. From the shipboard journey and first deadly years to the births of children and grandchildren, Sarah’s story will inspire fans of historical fiction and Early American history.