Aug. 4th, 2012

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Title: Dawn's Early Light
Author: Elswyth Thane
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 365
Date read: August 2012

Against a background of Williamsburg's quiet streets, the pomp and glitter of the Palace during the last days of British rule, and the excitement and triumph which swirled through the Raleigh Tavern, we see the people of Williamsburg whom history has forgotten: aristocratic St. John Sprague, who became George Washington's aide; Regina Greensleeves, the spoilt Virginia Beauty; Julian Day, the young schoolmaster, just arrived from England; and finally, Tibby, the most appealing, irresistible creature Miss Thane has ever written about. Washington, Jefferson, Lafayette, Greene, Francis Marion, and the rest of that brilliant galaxy are portrayed not as historical figures but as men. We see de Kalb's gallant death under a cavalry charge at Camden, the swamp-encircled camp which was Marion's fastness on the Peedee, and the cat-and-mouse game between Cornwallis and Lafayette, which ended in Cornwallis's unlucky stand at Yorktown. "Dawn's Early Light" is the human story behind America's first war for liberty, and of men and women loving and laughing through war to the dawn of a better world.

It has taken me ridiculously long time to finish this book, and I do feel bad about giving it such a low rating, but considering how long I've been reading it, I can't in good conscience claim that it was any better than ok.

The book is split up into three parts. The first part where Julian arrives to the USA and get settles I really liked. That part was a breeze to get through. I loved reading about his friendship with St. John and his job as a teacher - not to mention Kit and Tibby. Had the entire book been like that I would probably have given it a rating of 4/5. Unfortunately then the Revolution started, and with it a much more boring part two. Eslwyth Thane did not manage to make that interesting for me at all and part two was a chore to slog through.

Part 3 was fortunately somewhat a mix of part one and two, so while not quite as good an end as the beginning had lead up to, at least it did end on a better note than I at one point feared.

Guess I'll return to Diana Gabaldon instead for books about the Revolution.


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