Roanoke: The Lost Colony, by Angela Elwell Hunt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
SERIES: "Keepers of the Ring," #1. The second book follows some of the children from this first book, so it would seem they can be read as stand-alone novels without much problem.
PARENTAL RATING (May contain spoilers): PG-13 Although the physical act of marriage between man and wife are alluded to, as well as references to cohabitation, all was tasteful and spiritually sound. There were a few strong descriptions of brutal torture at the hands of a warring tribe, mostly towards the end of the book. I will encourage my girls to read this one, but only after we have a few chats about what they're going to find in its pages. Based on that, I’d rate Roanoke as PG-13 but encourage older historical-fiction fans to get their hands on this one.
As we follow young Jocelyn across the ocean to the English colonies, she becomes a capable member of the community. She accepts her role as the minister’s wife and loves her husband despite her misperceptions about his feelings for her. More than once I wanted to scream as the couple misunderstand each others’ words or actions and go through years of marriage never understanding how they truly feel about each other.
But there is much to be gleaned from this could-be-true story based on the lost colony of Roanoke Island. Finding freedom in God rather than being bound by tradition and laws of man was a constant theme. As servants are freed from the restrictions of being born to a lower class, and men and women shed the condemnation of their past mistakes to accept God's offer of new life, we are reminded of God's grace.
Along with beautiful examples of that grace are admonitions to live fully in the light of it, as we meet characters who waste their time in self-condemnation, guilt, and penance.
This books covers in pretty strong detail a period of about 20 years, so this won't be a quick read. However, the actual facts of history that come alive, the spiritual lessons, and the intense story make this book well worth the time.