Monday, January 3, 2022

Elinor: A Riveting Story Based on the Lost Colony of Roanoke (Daughters of the Lost Colony) by Shannon McNear

My thoughts:  As a lifetime resident of North Carolina having lived on the coast of that grand old state, I was intrigued at the opportunity to read a story about the Lost Colony. Long a source of mystery unique to North Carolina, the assumptions and speculations about what those early people endured and what happened to them has been woefully missing facts to flesh out their history.  Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

The reality is, we simply don't know. But the possibilities of hostile peoples completely eradicating those early settlers as well as the possibility of assimilation into the culture and life of the native people's lives is also a daring possibility. 

The settlers had a desire to bring the natives to personal relationship with Christ and to a belief in the "Creator God." I truly like that the quotes were from the Great Bible of 1539. 

Use of words unique to the English language of the period and words the natives spoke (as well as the tribal names and places), lent credibility to the storyline. It is harder to read the story with these interposed yet the value of their inclusion is certainly worthwhile. 

The book's title is the name of the leading female character in the story. She is also the mother of the first child born to English settlers in the "New World" - Virginia Dare. I enjoyed reading about how these men and women stepped foot onto the shores of the new world. Because I am a long time North Carolina resident, I could vividly imagine their feet sinking into the sand of the dunes, the scrub oaks they found near the shore line, the sound (waters between ocean, shore, and mainland). I could feel the ocean breeze and smell the salt in the air just as the characters experienced. It is all distinct and they experienced it all. I could also vividly see the hurricanes that these settlers experienced that tore apart what little they had.

I really enjoyed reading Elinor and her experiences as a settler in what we today know of as "The Lost Colony." Real life characters are fleshed out - Elinor Dare, her husband Ananias Dare, her father John White, and her new born daughter, Virginia Dare. 

Their dealings with Sir Walter Raleigh for funds and permission from the Queen for ships to sail to the new world and provisions provides a glimpse into the World history of the time. The unscrupulous sea captains actions as it affects the colonists tell of the duplicity of the times.

Does this book tell us what happened to the Lost Colony? No, because it is simply an unknown part of history. But these were real people, real places, and this is based on what history we do know and understand.

About the book: Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .

The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

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