Field of the Fatherless is a new young adult novel out by Elaine Cooper. I thought it was a disturbing but honest portrayal of what life was like at the beginning of America’s war for Independence.
Betsy Russell is a young woman struggling to cope with the reality of what life is bringing to her small village. The fear, the devastation and the heartbreaking losses create a well of resentment within her. Called on by a neighbor to help care for a dying man she agrees before she learns that the man is British. Can she care for a man who is part of an army that so ruthlessly killed people she loved?
Confronted by this man’s grave injuries she provides care, because God calls us to love our enemies. She begins to understand that the choices he had to made were not always in his control either and that war is brutal on both sides. Both the British and the American’s were capable of gross atrocities.
This book looks at the reality of life in 1775. Told from Betsy’s perspective we see the harsh realities of not only that time period but the sacrifices made for independence. The cost of duty and devotion are not minimized. This story has a strong faith line as Betsy struggles with her fear and to forgive as well as to move past the images and sounds that occur to live in the world that her father and many others died to preserve. While written for young adults, the story would be one that any adult would be impacted by. Thank you for taking us there, Elaine!