In this fictional journal, Emme Merrimoth--one of the actual colonists of Roanoke--recounts the harrowing journey that brought the colonists to the New World.Read more...
In this fictional journal, Emme Merrimoth--one of the actual colonists of Roanoke--recounts the harrowing journey that brought the colonists to the New World. During the voyage, Emme becomes involved with Governor John White, who reassigns her to his household and then asks her to marry him. With no better prospects and happy to be free of her bland former employers, Emme agrees.
Once on Roanoke, the colonist restore the village abandoned by former English settlers and realize, when faced with hostile natives, that they have been misled by White. White plots to return to England to avoid the hardship of the New World, and he and his supporters drive a hard bargain with the colonists: they will send back much-needed supplies from England if they allow White to flee without interference. Faced with little choice, the colonists agree, and are left to fare on their own.
Emme, due to a scandalous past, is accused of witchcraft, shunned by the colonists, and enslaved by a nearby tribe. But throughout these dramatic turns of events, Emme commits herself to putting down on paper her every memory of the Lost Colony.
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The mystery of Roanoke
One of the great mysteries of the early years of North America’s settlement by Europeans is the lost Roanoke colony. In 1587, 118 people, including children, settled there but later disappeared without a trace. Just a few cryptic clues remained that hinted at their possible fate. What drove them from their settlement? Illness? Native attack? Internal strife?
Essayist and founding editor of Gray’s Sporting Journal Ed Gray dreams up a few possible answers in his first novel, Left in the Wind: The Roanoke Journal of Emme Merrimoth. Gray chooses Emme, an actual Roanoke colonist, as the narrator for his tale. Through her eyes, we experience the new colonists’ distress as they make the difficult crossing from England, their struggle to establish a new home in the wilderness of North Carolina, the dramas and jealousies between families and the disintegration of a community.
Is Gray correct in his explanation of Roanoke’s demise? It’s impossible to say, but his idea is as good as any. Part historical novel, part detective story, Left in the Wind is filled with fascinating details of colonial settlement life and Native-American culture. It’s a gripping story that readers will have trouble putting down.