Book Review: Dear America: Love Thy Neighbor, The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (Greenmarsh, Massachusetts 1774) by Ann Turner

lovethyIn this unique DA diary, the author tells the Revolutionary War era story from a Tory’s point of view; that is, from the point of view of a girl and her family who did not want to secede from England and were perfectly happy living under the King’s reign. These people are often viewed as traitors to the American cause, but in fact made up a fair part of the colonists, and were mostly good, average people just like anyone else. Because they did not support efforts for freedom, however, they were often attacked, vilified, and harassed by their own neighbors with whom they’d once been friends. Such is Prudence Emerson’s story.

Eventually, Prudence and her family are chased from their home and must relocate to live with their aunt, uncle, and cousins further north, where her cousin develops a romantic attachment to one of the British soldiers stationed there. Very memorable is the fact that the celebrating of Christmas was outlawed at the time, but that the family put up a decorative Christmas star to help encourage Prudence’s sickly, blind younger sister, Kate, who was the darling of this story. A very well-written book and one of my favorites in the series.

Book Review: Dear America: The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, A Navajo Girl (New Mexico, 1864) by Ann Turner

sorrowThis is a sad story about the forced relocation and concentration of the Navajo people, who were forced to leave their homes and walk hundreds of miles in the snow, many dying on the way. The book is sad from start to finish. I do remember one scene in which a soldier takes a liking to the main character. Like all of the DA books, it is hard to put down. This was a particularly tragic chapter in American history.