Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review - Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims' First Year in America Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims' First Year in America by Glenn Alan Cheney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thanksgiving is a book written based on a journal found that describes the first year of life at Plimouth Plantation for the Pilgrims. The book takes you from the origination of the Separatists/Puritans to when the fled to Holland to when they decided to make their way to America. The journey to America was covered in detail as was the hardships and deaths that occurred during the first year.

Overall this was an interesting read. The relationship between the Pilgrims and the "savages" as the natives were referred to, was tenuous but friendly. The fear that the Native Americans felt because of earlier Englishmen was overcome and they formed an odd sort of friendship. Going through this year, it is mentioned how they supported one another against enemies, but more importantly how they each taught the other their ways. I found the English a bit pompous and their sense of entitlement to whatever they "found" was a bit annoying. I was impressed on how the Native Americans opened their arms and taught them how to plant "American" foods and how to use the natural plants for various things. I was encouraged by the seemingly lack of racism during this period (or maybe it just wasn't documented).

Overall the book was an interesting read. My response is lukewarm only because it's not my normal genre and while I often "cross over" to non-fiction, this book did not captivate me. It was full of facts and assumptions based on the known facts. It did give a good picture of what the Pilgrims encountered in thier journey to the new land and beyond. This is a great read for high school students studying the early years of American History and the history buff wanting to know more about the first years at Plimouth.

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This book was from my personal library.