Land So Fair

Land So Fair

by Firth Haring Fabend
4.5 2

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Land So Fair 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Firth Haring Fabend is primarily an historian, specializing in the history of the Dutch colonists, and especially of the Dutch Reformed Church, in North America. She is also a prolific novelist, and this, her fifth novel, draws extensively on her encyclopedic and meticulously researched historical background. It traces the history of an extended family of Dutch origin ¿ not surprisingly, the Harings ¿ through the whole period from when the Netherlands lost control of New Amsterdam, and the Dutch colonists became subjects of the British Crown, to their regaining of their ancient liberties at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. The family is portrayed through a succession of intelligent, strong-willed women whose attitudes change and evolve over the years. One unifying thread is the progression of their feelings about slavery, ranging from an early distaste for the institution as a necessary evil to outright rejection in the final chapter, where 11-year-old Margaret, the latest embodiment of the strong young woman, observes ¿We are free. It is time to set the slaves free¿, and her mother agrees ¿It is way past time¿. Altogether, the novel throws new light on the formative years of the new American Republic, and on the striking parallels between the Dutch colonists¿ rejection of religious control by the authorities in Amsterdam and the colonies¿ rejection of political control from London. It also portrays the human suffering engendered by the Revolutionary War, which emerges as a civil war as much as as a struggle against the imperial power, with the extended family torn between Patriots and Loyalists, the latter being themselves patriots of a different breed, loyal to their King. But this is essentially a novel, and Ms Fabend skillfully delineates her characters as real people, with all their strengths and foibles. Nevertheless, most of these characters are in fact people who actually lived, and the reader can not only enjoy the author¿s skills as a novelist but also gain new insight into a turbulent period in our country¿s history. From both angles, both as an engrossing novel and as a portrayal of history, this book makes fascinating reading.