Book Review: Crow Hollow

crowhollowTitle: Crow Hollow
Author: Michael Wallace
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Rating: 5/5

Crow’s Hollow is a historical novel that takes place in the New World in 1676, uniting a devout Puritan woman and an English spy. Prudence Cotton was notoriously widowed after the Nipmuk tribe attacked her town, killing and torturing the inhabitants. Prudence and her young daughter, Mary, were taken as prisoners after watching Prudence’s husband get brutally murdered. Prudence is able to escape, although she must leave her daughter behind. James Bailey is a British spy, intent on taking back the colonies’ charter and reigning in certain liberties, but is telling everyone that he is investigating the peculiar death of Prudence’s late husband. Prudence begs James to let her come with him into Indian wilderness to find the Nipmuk tribe so that she can find her missing daughter. James concedes and as they make their journey to the Indian wilderness, they find out chilling details about the Indian attack that indicate corruption in the colonies.

My favorite thing about this novel was the amount of rich details throughout the story. The world building and descriptions of the settings were done wonderfully and I felt completely immersed in the novel. The dialect that the characters spoke in, the clothes that the characters are described wearing, and even the food all seemed incredibly authentic and it is obvious that there was an incredible amount of research done.

I really liked the characters in Crow Hollow as well. Prudence Cotton was my favorite character and I really enjoyed watching her character develop throughout the story. She was a very strong, intelligent, and dynamic character. James Bailey was very ambitious and apologetically brash, but I thought that his bold demeanor added humor throughout the novel.  I wasn’t sure if I would like him in the beginning of the novel but as he grew closer to Prudence, he became more genuine and vulnerable. Peter Church, a Quaker Indian, accompanied James from England in order to help James with his mission. I thought that the community’s reaction towards Peter was sad but intriguing, as it showed the hostility that the Puritans held against Quakers and American Indians during the time period.

I really enjoyed the plot of this story and it really kept my attention. There was a lot of action as Prudence and James traveled to find the Nipmuk tribe. I thought that the relationship between Prudence and James was really interesting to read and the two characters complimented each other well. I liked the ending of this novel and I thought that Wallace did a good job of bringing the story to a satisfying close.

I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a piece of historical fiction. I don’t think that Crow Hollow requires a vast knowledge of the time period and I think that any casual reader would enjoy it. The characterization, setting, and pacing were all wonderfully done and I think that this was a really enjoyable read.

If you have read Crow Hollow, I would love to hear your thoughts as well. To view Crow Hollow on Amazon, please click here.

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