Historical Fiction: All Will Be Well, by Amy C. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All Will Be Well is Amy Martin’s debut novel, inspired by her ancestor John Alden. Speaking generally, I can say that the book is well researched and competently written. Told in the neutral third person, it is in its first half that the story of the Mayflower passengers, in particular John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, really shines. The reader experiences the perils of a late fall Atlantic crossing in realistic detail, perhaps the best fictional description of the harrowing journey since that offered by Anya Seton her 1958 classic, The Winthrop Woman. The struggles to find a suitable location for the new settlement , survive the harsh winter with limited food and widespread illness, and finally , to contend with an appalling death rate makes for captivating reading. What could be a grim reading experience is lightened by the growing attraction between John and Priscilla and by a myriad of other diverting characters, especially Miles Standish. The author’s treatment of prominent Native Americans Squanto, Massasoit, and many others is fair, balanced, and inclusive. For once, their roles are not ignored. Indeed, the second half of the novel covers in detail the growing friction between the Europeans and the tribes.

All Will Be Well is a promising debut by a young writer to watch, and is recommended to readers who enjoy well presented historical fiction

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