The Wolves of Andover

The Wolves of Andover

3.7 47
by Kathleen Kent
     
 

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In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the

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Overview

In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War. But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether it be from the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves-in many forms-who hunt for blood. A love story and a tale of courage, The Wolves of Andover confirms Kathleen Kent's ability to craft powerful stories of family from colonial history.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kent doesn't disappoint in this prequel to The Heretic's Daughter, taking readers back to Massachusetts before the Salem witch trials as strong-willed 23-year-old Martha Allen falls in love with strong-armed hired hand Thomas Carrier. Rumor has it that Thomas, while living in England under another name, played a role in the execution of King Charles I. Now both he and Martha work for Martha's cousin on her farm and are brought together with a little help from the wolves stalking the farm. But after Thomas saves Martha from a wolf attack, he discovers wild animals are not the only dangers lurking in the Massachusetts woods: assassins have arrived from London to capture Charles I's executioner, said to be living outside Boston under an assumed name. Kent weaves in references to her first novel while creating an immersive stand-alone where Old World corruption clashes with New World opportunity; London bustles as civilization is carved out of the Massachusetts wilderness; and colonial self-reliance contrasts with dealing for favors in Restoration England. Kent brings colonial America to life by poking into its dark corners and finding its emotional and personal underpinnings. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In coastal Massachusetts in 1673, wolves still lurked in the shadows, and farmers toiled to keep the forest at bay. Martha Allen is sent to such a farm to help her cousin who's in the final months of her pregnancy. Sharp-tongued and independent, Martha finds life difficult no matter where she is and considers her cousin Patience to be spoiled and soft and the hired men impudent. As Martha becomes accustomed to life in Billerica, she forms a tenuous friendship with Thomas Carrier, a hired man of enormous size and few words. As they forge ahead in their relationship, hired assassins from London are on their way to assassinate the men who executed Charles II during the English civil war. Who will succeed and who will die? VERDICT In this prequel to Kent's best-selling The Heretic's Daughter—a retelling of her ancestor's execution during the Salem witch trials—the author combines harsh images of early Colonial life with a well-paced story and careful details. The result is a taut narrative that will satisfy historical fiction lovers. [Barbara Hoffert's Fiction Pick, Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10; on Saturday, Nov. 6, the publisher and Kent are inviting descendants of the Carrier family and other families associated with the witch trials as well as history buffs to a Carrier family reunion in Salem, MA.—Ed.]—Anna Karras Nelson, Collier Cty. P.L., Naples, FL
Kirkus Reviews

In this prequel to The Heretic's Daughter(2008), Kent tells the fictionalized story of her ancestor Martha Carrier's courtship with her future husband years before she became a victim of the Salem Witch Trials.

In 1673, Martha's father sends her to help her pregnant cousin Patience, whose husband Daniel is often away from the family's farm near Andover. He's also hoping she'll find a proper suitor among the local clergy. Instead she's drawn to one of the two indentured hired men on the farm. An unusually tall Welshman approaching 50, Thomas Carrier carries himself with an air of mystery and authority that intrigues Martha despite herself, especially after he kills the wolves menacing the farm. Those wolves, which Martha dangerously approaches before Thomas shoots them, resemble the band of assassins sent to Massachusetts from London by a minion of King Charles II, who wants to avenge the death of his father, the Catholic Charles I killed by Cromwell. The book cuts between Martha's growing relationship with Thomas and the assassins' ill-fated mission as the killers drop off one by one, victims of double-cross, drowning, poison and warring Indians. Martha soon learns that Thomas served as the King's guard as a youth before joining Cromwell's cause. He was indeed the one who brought the ax down on Charles I's head, but he later lost faith in Cromwell when he saw him becoming a despot. As the surviving assassin draws closer, Martha—who has her own secret—fears she has inadvertently betrayed Thomas's secret when Patience finds the diary in which Martha wrote down his story. But Daniel, like most of his neighbors, is a staunch defender of Protestantism. For all his evil, diabolic planning, the assassin never has a chance.

Kent has more fun with the Londoners—Johnny Depp could play almost any of the baddies—than her somewhat morose ancestors, but she lovingly captures their daily grind and brings looming dangers, whether man or beast, to harrowing life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316068628
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
11/08/2010
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Kent is the author of The Heretic's Daughter. She lives in Dallas.

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