cover image Remember the Morning

Remember the Morning

Thomas Fleming. Forge, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86308-1

Sixth in the generational saga of the Stapleton family (Liberty Tavern, etc.), this sad, intricately plotted book takes readers back in time to colonial New York. Bestselling novelist Fleming (Officers' Wives) has created a grim, compelling tale of historical adventure amid rapacious imperialism and wholesale treachery. In 1721, two young girls--one black, one white--are captured by the Seneca Indian tribe of Lake Ontario. Dutch-born Catalyntie Van Vorst and African Clara are raised as young Indian maidens by the tribe until, 12 years later, they are ""rescued"" in an exchange of prisoners. As Indian women they wield great power and equity within their Seneca clans, but among the whites, Catalyntie is forced to be a meek niece to a tyrannical uncle and Clara is suddenly her slave. For the next 30 years, a torrid and tragic love triangle will rage between the two women and idealistic settler Malcolm Stapleton, while the colonies suffer oppression, Indian wars and slave uprisings. Both women are strong-willed and resourceful. Catalyntie seeks the independence of wealth, vowing bloody revenge on her thieving Dutch relatives, the corrupt English government and anyone else who threatens her power, while Clara devotes herself to good works among the poor and sick. There is little happiness for anyone as jealousy, scandal and betrayal tear apart the three protagonists, proving once again that battles of the heart can be just as vicious as battles of the musket and hatchet. (Sept.)