It’s 1806 and the state of Ohio contains little but scattered outposts when Susanna Quiner sees her sisters abducted from their home by the Potawatomi. Little does she know that her drunken neighbor planned the attack to gain access to the only things – a dry goods store, wagon, horses, and chickens – the orphaned girls have left to survive. Despite enormous odds and no one willing to help her, Susanna sets off into the “Black Swamp” and “Thieving Forest” to find her sisters who are scattered across a vast wilderness filled with swamp fever, poisonous snakes, and aggressive natives keen on taking captives. It’s a place where all the sisters must fight for their lives. Susanna’s naive bravery compels her to track down each of her sisters. Susanna begins the pilgrimage as a slightly spoiled, helpless youngest sister, but the emotional journey she takes through her experiences with injury, death, slavery, survival, and sacrifice in the forest proves even greater than the countless physical steps she takes, and the events alter her and her sisters in ways they could never have imagined.
I loved that Ms. Conway’s book covers such a unique time and place in history. I doubt you could find much else written about the barren Ohio countryside during the early 19th century. The local geography, Native American tribes and their customs, local flora and fauna, the complicated relationships between the local populations during that time – Conway’s tale captures it all. You can feel Susanna’s panic as her sisters are stolen out of their home, her fears as she enters the unknown, the stubborn courage that pushes her onward, and the bitter disappointment when she finds her sisters only to discover that despite everything she has gone through, she may have arrived too late to save them. A fascinating adventure that reveals a little known world, don’t miss.
Amazon link for the book is here.