reviewed by Dr. M. M.
While raking through charity shops to find 'bodice-ripper' covers
suitable for acts of graphic-art subversion with PhotoShop, I chanced
upon this little item due to its covergirl being ideal casting as
'Pattie's little helper' Sal (i.e. a voluptuous redhead with flimsy
clothing and a big musket)...
Torrid 18C bodicerippers using the American War as a setting are
not uncommon, usually with titles like Rebel
by Moonlight, and lots of sentimentalisation of the Reb
side of things. However, this one proved a pleasant shock:
IT'S ACTUALLY PRO-LOYAL AMERICAN!
It's about a group of young Loyalist war widows and a part-Mohawk
female scout and their adventures under (sometimes literally) a
Loyalist and Mohawk Ranger unit (think Butler-ish) in upstate New
York. Eventually they travel on to Yorktown and then to Canada as
refugees. The commander is John Rawdon (no relation to Frank), a
good-humoured but battle-scarred young British officer, whose
Bostonian fiancée was killed jumping from a window when a mob,
incited by Sam Adams, had set fire to her Loyal family's home. He
later agrees to service a West Country widow desperate for a child
(she's an unconvincing character and unconvincing plot device!). Sam
Adams appears as a scheming villain, and it's very nice about Sir
Henry Clinton! The surviving characters end up living happily ever
after in New Brunswick.
However, as with most of these things, the writing leaves much to
be desired, and veers frequently into camp, e.g. the hero has a
habit of addressing the Mohawk guide N'antuka / Running Bird as
"Flower of the North", and some of her dialogue reads like fake
Native American-English from a Hollywood B-Western. Also, alas, her
fate is that which invariably befalls First Nations women who love
white men in Hollywood Westerns. But then this is definitely the
Makes a change from the usual pro-Rebel romantic stuff, anyway!
But I'm still not sure which of the heroines the covergirl is meant
to be. Maybe she's just generic.
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