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Favorite Daughter, Part One by Paula Margulies: A Book Review

Favorite Daughter, Part One
Author: Paula Margulies
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: One People Press
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 194
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A young girl faces a dangerous and changing world...

Set in the time of the Jamestown settlement and the English explorer John Smith, Favorite Daughter, Part One recounts the story of Chief Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, as she prepares to take her place as one of our nation's earliest leading women. Pocahontas invites readers to experience her native world when strangers appear on the shores near her village. From forging a relationship with the charismatic Smith, to experiencing love for the first time and creating a role for herself in her father’s plans for peace, this young girl takes us on a poignant and harrowing journey through the turbulent events of her life. Eventually betrayed by all of the men she loves, Pocahontas matures into a heroine of tremendous nobility, courage, and heart. 

Told in first person, in a voice brimming with compassion and wisdom, Favorite Daughter, Part One provides a compelling look at the early days of one of the most remarkable legends in American history. 

Editor’s Choice Award Winner, 24th Annual San Diego State University Writers’ Conference

     My Review: The legend of Pocahontas is most well-known as an Indian princess who saved the life of an Englishman, John Smith, who was an Indian hostage. Her story was first written by John Smith and has been romanticized through generations. The most popular version of the story is the Disney movie, Pocahontas released in 1995. However, Paula Margulies’s Favorite Daughter, Part One tells the legend of Pocahontas from the Native American perspective. In this story the tale is retold by Pocahontas herself as she tells her side of events of the time when John Smith and his crew first settled in America.

     The story starts when John Smith has landed in America and formed Jamestown. Pocahontas and her people are fascinated by these mysterious men whom they have never seen before. When John Smith is suddenly taken hostage by her people, Pocahontas becomes attracted to him and wants to learn more about him. Slowly, John Smith and Pocahontas form a slow friendship and together they teach their language and customs to each other. There, Pocahontas embarks on a mission of peace between the English and her tribe.

      I found the setting of Pocahontas’s tribe to be very beautiful. It is clear that the author understands a lot about Native American culture for she writes it eloquently by describing their customs and language. I was fascinated with how she makes their world come alive. I also liked how she portrayed Jamestown, as a town that is starving and does not have enough supplies to survive. Yet, some of these men, like John Smith, are interested in the Native American  language and customs and would like to make an alliance with them. 

     What I found most fascinating was Pocahontas. She is a strong-willed person, who loves her home and respects nature. She is a bit tomboyish and adventurous. She is curious about not only the English settlers, but their home. She wants to go to England and see what it is like. She is also selfless and is willing to give up her life to save John Smith. She is also a woman of influence because her father listens to her advice and follows it. It is clear that Pocahontas is a leader and she never stops working on her mission to make peace with the English.

     Overall, the themes of this book are about family, love, honor, and sacrifice. It is about a woman’s never-ending quest for peace. This book shows what a strong person Pocahontas really was. I can’t wait to read Favorite Daughter, Part Two, which comes out in July 2016. I recommend this book to anyone interested not only in one of America’s first leading woman, but also to those interested in learning about Native American culture. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the kind review, Lauralee! I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your welcome. It is a really good book.

    ReplyDelete

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