Reviews for The Mayflower : the families, the voyage, and the founding of America

Library Journal
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Edward Winslow (1595-1655), an important yet overlooked name in early American history, fostered a relationship with the Wampanoag that saved lives during the pilgrims' first winter in New England. Fraser's (The Brontės: Charlotte Brontė & Her Family) account of the Mayflower voyage and its people walks readers through their harrowing journey in the New World, as well as the rise and fall of peaceful relations between the pilgrim community and the Wampanoag. Surviving in an unfamiliar land meant that Winslow had to juggle responsibility to his people with a loyalty and close friendship with tribal leader Massassoit. Epic in scope and pacing, this account of survival feels intimate, connecting readers to both groups in a refreshing way. Fraser's focus on the Winslow family, rather than on more common pilgrim names such as John Winthrop, rejuvenates an otherwise stale history. The author's inclusion of indigenous history along with the struggles of women pilgrims and their importance to the community's success is both appreciated and necessary. VERDICT Focusing more on storytelling and less on analysis makes this an engaging popular history. For readers of David McCullough and Ron Chernow.-Jessica Holland, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Renowned historian Fraser brings us yet another superbly written and enthralling read as she interweaves the stories of those who traveled from England and Holland on the Mayflower and founded Plymouth Colony, established from 1620 to the 1690s. Focusing primarily on Edward Winslow, his descendants, and their relationships with the area's Native American tribes and England, she excels at showing how landscape, religion, and politics can irreversibly transform a family and a community. Fraser's research was not limited to the history surrounding the Mayflower and Plymouth Colony; she also incorporates and fuses into one unified narrative the stories of many different people who came into contact with Winslow, along with an incisive account of seventeenth-century England. The Mayflower reads as though it were historical fiction, with a varied cast of characters and perspectives, fine details, background histories, and a holistic approach. With finesse and thorough research, including genealogical searches, she provides a fresh account of Plymouth Colony that reveals how, through trial and error, the colonists survived, no matter the cost. Highly recommended for history enthusiasts.--Johnson, Jennifer Copyright 2017 Booklist

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