The Iceweaver by Margaret Lawrence
A Jennet Trevor novel,, No. 1
Harperperennial Library - July 3, 2001
ISBN: 0380796139 - Paperback
Historical Fiction, 1809, New Forge, New York - for very explicit content

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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Hannah Trevor has died, leaving behind her deaf daughter, Jennet. Jennet has been living like a wild child in the woods. She is captured and sold to the highest bidder. A man named John Frayne.

John has returned to learn that his life, his wife, and his child no longer his. After a deathly journey west, he has returned to his late father's old home. He takes pity on a couple of others and allows them to live with him and Jennet. Gabriel Hines is an elderly carpenter and Marius Leclerc is a French army deserter. Marius is in love with Jennet and quietly battles John for her affection. Together these misfits deal with the harsh life around them. Jennet faces life without her mother, but has to regain her ground to civility after living like a mad person. John faces life in the town where his father was hung as a Tory sympathizer. Extensively through the story, John takes the reader back to his trip west to explain how he became a rich man with a broken soul. Readers learn much about his life, his father, and how he ended up deserting his wife and child.

The title Iceweaver stems from Jennet's desire to use John's mother's spinning wheel that sits in the coldest room in the house as the January cold flows through the roof and windows. The tale is a dark one, and the author's writing is poetic in style. It reads more like an historical novel than a mystery. Although there are some mysterious happenings, they don't read as the main storyline. To me, that seemed to be John's past and Jennet's recovery. The daunting storyline, the cruelty, such as the rape scenes, and the characters hopeless lives could be considered thought-provoking or even honest, but if depressing tales and detailed scenes of cruelty are more than you can bear, you may want to rethink this one.

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