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The Wood's Edge

(The Pathfinders #1)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  997 ratings  ·  273 reviews
At the wood's edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes acr
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by WaterBrook
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Can I have ten stars, please? Five is not sufficient for a story this deep and detailed! In fact, I've been putting off this review for way too long because I don't rightly know how to express how enjoyable this book was for me.

It's the type of story that draws you in and doesn't let you go. It's epic in its scope, following a family from the children's birth and the theft of the baby all the way to the young manhood of the twins. Benton draws you into a deep emotional understanding with many c
AMAZING!! Absolutely, unequivocally, beyond adequate words of praise - rich, authentic, captivating - amazing! And that's just the story. Isn't the cover amazingly gorgeous, too??

The Wood's Edge is by far, the best book I've read this year. One of the most satisfying and richly drawn historical sagas I've encountered in long time. And THE BEST Christian-penned historical work of fiction, without a doubt. Which really says something, considering I'm not much into generational family sagas and/or
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
{3.5 stars}

I had barely begun Many Sparrows by this same author, when I knew I would have to snatch up the rest of her books. I've always longed for books that would whirl me into a descriptive world, and hold my attention on every page. Lori Benton does just that for me.

This book was a whirlwind! It spans many years, bringing together the lives of family and strangers in a unique way. The first half was long and slow, and sometimes the months and years passed in between got a little tedious, al
Jocelyn Green
What an amazing saga, and I'm so glad I'm only halfway through it since this is the first in a two-book series! Lori Benton's ability really shines in this novel (as it does with all her others). I was so impressed with how she was able to span from the end of the French and Indian War to the beginning of the Revolutionary War by following the twisting tales of two families tied together by one impulsive act. Never did the book feel rushed. There were several POV characters, and she nailed the v ...more
Robin Hatcher
From the opening scene to the last line of the book, I was captivated by The Wood’s Edge. Rich in history, with characters to weep for and to cheer for, this is a novel that will linger in my heart for a long time to come.
~ Robin Lee Hatcher, bestselling author of Love Without End and Whenever You Come Around
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story of faith, forgiveness, and God’s redeeming grace, The Wood’s Edge blurs the lines between history and fiction in a beautiful way. Set in 1700s New York, this historical novel is one you will not want to miss. You’ll be swept up from the very first page, and will not want to be put down!

From the first chapter, I was captivated. Benton is a mastermind at creating complex characters and weaving their lives together in an intricate way. I especially loved that in this novel, we
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I don’t recall giving this book permission to end. Yet, it went against all of my bookish wishes and did. How terribly rude.

I’m here to prepare you Internet, so you’re welcome!

I don’t read much historical fiction from this era, but when it comes to Lori Benton’s novels, I can’t help myself. She immediately draws readers in and when it ends, you’re left wanting more.

I wanted to list my favorite characters, but that would turn into talking about most of the characters, so I’ll say this: Bento
Oh. My. Gosh. I absolutely loved this moving book! One of the best books I have read in a long time!
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
Beautiful Writing - Check
Compelling Storyline - Check
Historical Detail - Check

I could not ask for more. This was a phenomenal novel and as good or perhaps better than Burning Sky, Lori's debut release.

I anxiously await the continuation of this story in The Flight of Arrows.
It took me several tries to persuade myself to start reading this book just because it looked long and I wasn't sure if it would hold my interest with the expanse of years it covers. Was I ever wrong! It was an awesome read!

This story follows the lives of those impacted by one terrible action and choice made by Major Reginald Aubrey. The consequences of that one choice will ripple through many lives for years to come. Set in Colonial America before the War of Independence, the author d
Amanda Geaney
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book that I've read by Lori Benton and her writing has made me an instant fan. The audacious sin which set this story in motion culminated in a powerful message of grace and redemption. Instead of connecting with one or two characters, I developed an emotional attachment to a group of about 6. In fact, Lori's storytelling coupled with Liz Pearce's audiobook narration brought me to tears while I was driving!

History buffs will like how the story is nestled between the French an
Gwendolyn Gage
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The “switched at birth” storyline gets a new spin in “The Wood’s Edge”. A French-and-Indian War soldier steals the white newborn boy of an Indian captive’s twins, placing his own dead newborn son in his place. The Indian family is devastated, and the grieved father swears to hunt down and exact revenge upon the redcoat who stole his son.

This was such an impactful and captivating tale! There are a lot of characters and multiple POVs, but they all work to paint a poignant picture of forgiveness an
This was my first book by Lori Benton, and what a treat! Lori will now be on my to-read list forever.

This was such a beautiful well written story, to find words to describe it and give it the proper praise it deserves will be difficult.

Lori managed to pen down realistic, emotionally deep and raw characters in such a way that I could see the story play out in front of my eyes, almost like I'm watching my friends. I felt the pain, the joy, the bitterness and finishing the story left me with a long
AlegnaB †
Wow! This was fantastic! I enjoyed every minute of it. I can't wait to listen to the next book.
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths. Major Reginald Aubrey in the midst of fighting between the British and the Onedia makes a decision that will forever change the lives of his entire family. When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward?

This was such a fascinating historical read. Not many books touch upon the period prior to the Revolu
Oh. My. Goodness! This book was incredible! A compelling journey that spans 19 years and tugs at the heart the whole way through. The final pages leave the reader sighing with contentment, while still leaving room for wonder & anticipation over its sequel (2016 feels like an eternity from now!). I finished reading it about 20 minutes ago and haven't stopped squealing since.

Lori, thank you! Your books never fail to leave me satisfied as well as deeply moved and amazed at the depths with which you
Rachel McMillan
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Historical literary fiction has found its place in the CBA with poetical and lyrical wordsmith Lori Benton. The strongest of her triad of exceptional books, The Wood's Edge is heart-wrenching and so gorgeously written your breath will catch in your throat.

Excavating the horror of war and exhuming, gorgeously, the ties that bind and break, Benton weaves a tale that is so unique, so heart-stopping and so emotional that you will look up from its vivid pages surprised you are not immersed in its act
This was my first Lori Benton book. I was sure I owned a couple, I'm so familiar with her books, but when I looked in my collection I couldn't find any. So I picked up 3 and plowed right into this one. If I could guess the one word someone would say after reading this, or perhaps any Benton book, I'd guess it would be, "Wow!"

The Wood's Edge, by Lori Benton
Time Frame: 1757-1776
Location: New York (mostly Mohawk River Valley, and Schenectady)
Main Characters:
Lydia - ages 14-33 young girl to adult mi
Savanna Kaiser
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To say this story was incredible almost seems like an understatement. In fact, it’s hard to find the words at all to review a book that left me in such awe. From the earliest pages, I found myself speechless and glued to the journey unfolding before me. I’ve never read anything quite like this. The Wood’s Edge took storytelling to a whole new level for me. I can’t wait for the rest of this new series.

Readers aren’t just stepping into one character’s journey when they pick this book up. They’re s
Kerry Johnson
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"At the wood's edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?"

These powerful words adorn the back of Lori Benton's third historical, The Wood's Edge, foreshadowing an historically detailed, emotionally-rich family saga that swept me up and wouldn't let go.

Sigh. Such depth, such pain, such beauty, all in one book.

The Wood's Edge is a tender love story on multiple relationship levels...Mother and son. Husband and wife. Father and daughter. Father and son. Friend and foe. Indian and
Carissa (Regency Woman)
Fort William Henry, Lake George, New York, 1757

When Reginald Aubrey holds the cooling body of his hour old infant son in his arms he is left with a choice. He can either tell his unconscious wife that their son has died or he can kidnap a boy from a set of newborn twins born within minutes of his own son. The twins' mother is a white woman who had been captured as a small child by a tribe of American Indians and raised Oneida. Her children are half white/half Indian, except that one boy has pale
I simply love this era, this style of writing, this feel. Lori Benton, I love your books! ^_^ Set in a time of unrest, Native Americans hunting the forests, the Colonies and England stirring against each other, The Wood's Edge did not fail to catch my interest and capture my heart. (Just like Burning Sky and The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn before it; and also Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. All set around the same time period). I don't know what exactly it is ... but I am just in love w ...more
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Deep in the woods of upstate New York in the year 1757, two sets of parents stand on the precipice of parenthood; with devastating results. British Major Reginald Aubrey carries the still warm body of his young son, who has died mere hours after birth, across Fort Williams Henry's interior to where a young Oneida mother has just birthed twin sons. Aubrey makes a desperate decision while the young Indian woman sleeps; he exchanges life for death; removing the Oneida baby with the fairer skin and ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I know I'm going to write a review of a book I tend to start thinking what I might say at about the two thirds point in the story. I didn't do that with The Wood's Edge. I didn't think about the amazing historic detail, I didn't think about the excellent writing, I didn't think about all the witty things I could say in praise of the story. I just READ the next page.

I was captivated and engaged so fully that I forgot about the mechanics of the writing. I just read another sentence and then
I feel like I can't say anything different than most others have said! This book gives you a lot to chew on. What I loved:
Learning about the Oneida's
The war and turmoil during that time period
The character development
The romance (between Two Hawks and Anna and then the possibility of it with Lydia(but definitely her unfailing love for Reginald) and Reginald)
The Christian message was amazing (salvation, forgiveness, hope, faith)
I loved learning about the role of Christian ministers to the Native
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure I've ever wished before that I could give a book more than five stars, but I do with The Wood's Edge. Few historical novels have touched me as deeply as this one--and I've read a lot! :) I've come to expect from Lori Benton a beautifully crafted story that sweeps me away to the 18th century frontier, but this story of two families caught between cultures and histories yet inextricably bound together by human failing, heartache, and love...well, it completely blew me away, shaking me ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Talk about a book hangover! I was completely captivated by "The Wood's Edge" from the very first page, as the story wove an epic and intricate tapestry of love, despair, recrimination, vengeance, condemnation, faith, hope, and forgiveness that here, as I close the back cover, has left me smiling and weeping and breathless for more. Heart-pounding romance... haunting, lyrical prose... riveting, realistic characters... all wrapped up in one of the most spiritually-challenging novels I have ever re ...more
Joanne Bischof
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely wonderful. Not only is Lori's writing lyrical, vivid, romantic, and historically rich, but I found the spiritual themes interwoven within to be exactly what I needed at the time. I love when God works that way and when he uses an author and a work of fiction, to remind us of very real truths.
I loved this book and I don't mind one bit that there was a cliff hanger at the end because there is another book to read, how exciting! Within this book contains so much wisdom and lessons learned. I can't wait to read the next one in the series.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-favorites
I did not want to finish. This is easily going to be one of my favorite reads, if not THE favorite read of the year for me.
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Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bond ...more

Other books in the series

The Pathfinders (2 books)
  • A Flight of Arrows (The Pathfinders, #2)

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Karen M. McManus, the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next, doesn’t shy away from secrets and...
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