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Crow Hollow

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  8,779 ratings  ·  613 reviews

In 1676, an unlikely pair—a young Puritan widow and an English spy—journeys across a land where greed and treachery abound.

Prudence Cotton has recently lost her husband and is desperate to find her daughter, captured by the Nipmuk tribe during King Philip’s war. She’s convinced her daughter is alive but cannot track her into the wilderness alone. Help arrives in the form o

Kindle Edition, 345 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,779 ratings  ·  613 reviews

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Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book, because I love the setting and the plot sounded really interesting. Unfortunately, it's one of those surface-level, rather vapid books that offer very little beyond basic entertainment (which is fine, but I like a bit more to sink my teeth into) and there were just too many moments that made me roll my eyes to take it seriously. The characters were flat and I JUST DIDN'T CARE about their developing romantic feelings which seemed to always supersede the rest of the ...more
Set in the late 1670s in Puritan New England, Michael Wallace has produced a well written, adventurous tale that includes a mystery, a bit of romance, and a conspiracy that leads to murder, betrayal, and unimaginable heartache.

The historical details surrounding the Massachusetts Bay Colony depict many of the religious customs of the Puritan settlers in Boston. Also brought to life are the devastating effects resulting from King Philip’s War. Wallace easily kept me invested as James Bailey, an a
What cheer!
I like reading history books but so far mainly focussed on English books in Henry VIII times and around. This is something different. In 1676, an unlikely pair - a young puritan widow Prudence and an English spy/ agent of the English Crown James, journeys from Boston harbour across a land where greed and treachery abound. They travel into Indian territories to find out more on the murder of Prudence's husband and searching for her daughter Mary, who is supposed to be taken into an Ind
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 17th century New England, Puritan widow Prudence Cotton lost her husband Sir Benjamin in King Philip’s War and was herself held captive. Nine months after her rescue, Prudence — despite her family’s insistence — knows her daughter Mary, now 3, is still alive, although still in the clutches of the same Nipmuk Indians who burned so many villages, tortured many, and kidnapped Prudence. Desperate, the young widow sees a way to find her daughter — a long shot and only at great peril.

Prudence’s ho
Darcia Helle
This book is a dramatic, poignant look at Colonial life in early New England. I was completely enthralled from start to finish.

First, the author's research is impeccable. He clearly knows his facts. I grew up in Massachusetts, where early English settlements and Puritan life is something of a backdrop to our existence. Rarely, though, did that history feel more alive than it did here. The author uses his knowledge and understanding of Puritan times to build a believable plot, played out by chara
Jun 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
This was largely a waste of my time.
A story with potential, but poorly executed. The characters have no real depth, the writing at a high school level, the descriptive phrases are cliches and hackneyed.
And for an author who is reputed to research his subject there are errors which are evidence to the contrary. For example at one point the protagonist and her companions are described as hiding behind "bales of hay". There were no bales of hay in 17th century New England. Baling hay became an ag
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this book through Kindle First. I am a fan of historical fiction, and this seemed like an interesting take on the pre-Revolutionary time in America. I enjoyed the overall story, though I found the main male lead to be hard to connect with. I understand patriotism, but his seemed to have very little basis. I felt that the female protagonist was inconsistent - she's puritanical, but not all the time? It was hard to believe.

So, again, overall interesting read, but just ok.
Aug 11, 2015 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: colonial-america
Note to self: I should stop reading books about Puritans because I DO NOT get them. It's just too much religion for me.

Besides that, in the 20-ish% that I read, James Bailey seduced a servant, let his companion be abused to achieve his own ends, and creepily came on to Prudence. Basically he was just an all around skeevy ass and I couldn't stand him. On top of that, I think the audiobook narrator somehow made him seem even worse and her voices were not very good. (Why would you have a woman nar
May 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
I think my rating of this book comes down to the characters. I didn't like them. He's a womanizer. She's a prude. That being said, I believe that Wallace captured the emotions and flavor of the New England colonies one hundred years before Revolution. The plot was interesting as well, but a bit slow in spots (again I blame my dislike for the main characters). And a bit predictable. I mean, you know from the beginning that these two are going to wind up together. And that never becomes believable ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Crow Hollow by Michael Wallace takes a searing and insightful look at the new world of the American colonies in the 1670s, harsh and realistic not only in its portrayal of the period and the people who populated the story but also the savage and treacherous conditions which surround them. Like any good book, it is an exploration of a new world with which few of us are accustomed to, yet visited by a feeling of familiarity only made possible by Michael Wallace’s fine writing.

Few books I have read
I was disappointed with this story, it had potential but in my opinion didn't deliver. I chose this as a Prime First selection on Amazon and then added the whispersync narration and listened to the audiobook.

The writing was not horrible but the dialog was not good, it was often stiff and stilted, unfortunately there's a lot of dialog. Sometimes a great reader performance can compensate for a book that might be a little lacking on the two dimensional page. In this case I'm afraid the reader wasn
Philip Bailey
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always find a peek into the early history of this young country thought provoking. So often overlooked the struggles of the early settlers bear testimony of mankind’s vicious side as well as the perils and hardship of life in primitive and often cruel conditions unimaginable in the comforts of today. Seldom considered the reality that even today living conditions in some parts of the world are not far removed from those described. In this tale of survival of the fittest or in some cases the vi ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I received this one of the free monthly books offered to Amazon Prime members but I am very glad I selected it. I am a history lover and my favorite era is Colonial/Revolutionary War America but this was a little before my normal reading.

A bit of a thriller, bit of a mystery and a bit of a rollicking adventure, this book delves into the religiously oppressive culture of Puritan New England. I knew a little of this period but this book really adds a great deal of depth to the era and
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
I won, Crow Hollow by Michael Wallace, in a GoodReads giveaway. I received a trade paperback of efficient, independent design, consisting of 335 pages of typical paperbook quality, and a serifed font with generous margins. Easier-to-read than smaller fonts, with breathing-space for the eyes..

Crow Hollow is set in colonial New England in the late seventeenth century and contains two main characters.

Prudence Cotton is a Puritan who has lost her husband Sir Benjamin in King Phillip's war, in which
M.L. Doyle
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
They say good books open up new worlds, and that’s exactly what Michael Wallace does, in Crow Hollow. He takes us to the new world of the American colonies, where wilderness is the backyard, where Puritan conventions and punishments are almost as cruel as the conditions and where once friendly Native American neighbors are almost extinct after a bloody war.

Every time I read a Wallace book, it takes me a couple days to return to normal after traveling to the worlds he creates which are always tra
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my friends asked why all the books I rate on "Goodreads" are a 4 or 5 star. I haven't been on "Goodreads" in a while because I only come here to rate books I have fallen in love with. So if I take the time to write a review on a book, you can bet I loved it, fell in love with the characters, the story and hoped the reading would take longer so it wouldn't end and then mourned the ending of it. And of course, for me, they all have to have happy endings.

"Cross Hollow" is one of those books.
Book Gala
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked up Crow Hollow because it was cheap at .99, and it sounded interesting. The book centers on James Bailey, an agent of the British Crown, as he arrives in Boston in 1676 to investigate the murder of another agent, Benjamin Cotton. He has a Native American partner with him, to help him question the Nipmuc tribe, the tribe responsible for the murder of Cotton and most of Crow Hollow. His partner is killed, and he winds up teaming with a Puritan widow (the widow of Cotton, incidentally) wh ...more
Ann Werner
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At first, I wasn't sure I'd like the story but once I started reading, I found it to be a gripping period piece full of adventure, intrigue and a touch of romance. The characters were engaging and the story had a steady, even pace. The descriptions of New England life during the 1600s highlighted the cruelty endured both by the settlers and by the native Americans whom they displaced. It also showed the greed and treachery that was visited upon Native Americans and settlers alike in the quest fo ...more
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
Meh. I can tell a lot of research went into this one, and it was honest for the time period as far as the characters' views on Puritans versus Quakers versus Native Americans versus everyone who isn't exactly like them. The mystery part was fairly well done. The romance part felt tacked on just to get a sex scene that felt completely out of place and out of character. I just wasn't buying that part; it felt like a contemporary romance trying to cram itself inside a historical mystery.

The narrat
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I can't believe this was written by an established author with nearly (or could be more by now) 2 dozen books published. It read like a first timer. It was melodramatic most of the way through, the characters were pretty shallow and it never had me on the edge of my seat. The synopsis made me think it would be suspenseful and gripping. No, none of that. And scenes that could have been intriguing were so stunted, nothing was properly fleshed out and over quickly. Every thought or action from a ch ...more
Kerryn (RatherBeReading)
I found the setting of this book to be extremely interesting as the war with the Indians is not something I have ever read much about in either fiction or non-fiction.

I also found the character of Prudence to be extremely interesting with her experiences with being an Indian captive.

I also appreciated that Wallace did not gloss over any of the 'brutal' nature of not only the crimes but also the justice system from time period.

Overall definitely an enjoyable adventure story with a dash of romance
Polly Clarke
I enjoyed this book in the most part and I particularly liked the lead up to the end chapters in its thrilling pace. Although I'm not a fan of brutality, I think we could have had a more complex emotional connection if we had had a more native American perspective. This could have been an amazing novel if the same detail and emotion experienced in the hangings, had been expressed throughout. A talented author and I would be happy to read any of his other novels. ...more
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was quite a satisfying historical fiction novel. Puritan Boston/New England has always fascinated me ever since, years ago, I studied the history and artwork of some of the first cemeteries in eastern Massachusetts. Most easily accessible narration about the time period, however, is based around the Salem witch trials, of which I'm quite tired. This is the story of Englishman James Bailey who, in December 1676, is emissary for England's King Charles, who has come to Boston to find out why B ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
ahhhhhh I really loved this book & was sad when it was over. I love books where you care about the characters so much that you find yourself thinking about them at odd times when you're not even reading the book.

This was a work of historical fiction that was great from beginning (well, after forcing myself through the first couple of chapters while I got used to the language of colonial New England) to end. Often, the ending of a great book will disappoint, but this felt as good as much of the s
Perry Martin
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rosemary Benson is one of the best Audiobook Narrators working today. This is another treasure of Michael Wallace's she has brought to our ears. 

This tale of 1676 New England is historic in its landscape and its social descriptions of the time. The religious control of the population and fear of a far off King Philip sets up a story of treachery and deception.

Prudence Cotton has lost her husband and believes her child was taken by the Nipmuk tribe. Others say the child was dead, but a mother kno
Melanie A. Starr
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bringing Life to History

If only American history teachers in school would have added interesting, detailed human stories to their litany of boring names of events and chosen heroes, I may have developed a great interest in history.
Only as a much older senior adult have I finally discovered a personal connection to history and it's people through historical novels, such as Crow Hollow by Michael Wallace.
I cared about his characters, and experienced the suffering, the joys, the culture, and deep c
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am so glad that I decided to read this book despite some of the reviews I read. This book contained all of the things I love in a good novel. It had adventure, history, intrigue, amazing characters and a great ending.

I admit that I don't read a lot of male writers and I tend to stick to the females for the most part. I might have to change my tune and branch out a little more after reading Michael Wallace's work.

For reference, the first third of the book I struggled a little getting to know
Monica Hills
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
James is an agent of King Charles II. He has been sent to Boston to look into the death of another agent of the king as well as a secret mission. Prudence has endured an abduction by Indians and the loss of her daughter. She is brought back to her family but believes her daughter is still alive and out in the wilderness. These two characters come together in order to achieve both of their goals.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction. This was a good read but was lacking that spark that makes a bo
Heidi Barley
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book tried to be both a historical fiction novel and a tame bodice ripper. It was very very tame in terms of explicit content but kept a sexual tension the whole time, which felt awkward.

The historical novel part of the book fared much better in my opinion, with an extremely interesting premise, time period and conflict. But the villain was obvious and the details weren't compelling. It read like someone's first novel, to be honest. Shallow main characters (the preacher's wife, Anne, was a
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hooked by the mystery, but beware adult content

Historical fiction about the British colony of Boston and a mystery about a massacre of Puritan settlers and Native Americans that causes a spy for the British Crown to investigate. Lots of interesting details about life during that period. The search for the truth is what hooked me. However, be aware of some adult content, including descriptions of intimate relations, gruesome fighting, and hangings.
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