Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roots: historical novels with Indiana ties

If you’re an avid reader, maybe you too have a book list—a list of books that you have read and loved, as well as books you want to read. I have plenty of books on my ‘to read’ to keep me occupied for probably a couple years, but I have recently added a couple more. It’s all the better if they combine and intertwine factual history with fiction, leaving the reader with a greater sense of place, awareness of and appreciation for the events, places and players in history. Here is a list of three acclaimed novels: Stardust by Noblesville author Kurt Meyer, The Massacre at Fall Creek by Jessamyn West, and Follow the River by Indiana resident James Alexander Thom.

Stardust is set right here in Noblesville and is a compelling story of love and loss. Once you read this book, you will be drawn to walking around ‘Old Town’ Noblesville like never before—compelled to seek out homes and commercial buildings featured in the book, as well as noticing (perhaps for the first time) the magnificent buildings that Noblesville once had that were torn down in the name of ‘progress.’

The Massacre at Fall Creek takes place around Pendleton in 1824 and is the account of the capture, trial and execution of five white men for the murder of nine peaceful Native Americans. There is a marker denoting the spot near where the massacre occurred on State Road 38 E, near Markleville (east of Pendleton).

Follow the River depicts the kidnapping of Mary Ingles from a Virginia settlement by Shawnee Indians in 1755 and details her escape from captivity and one thousand mile journey to return to her people.

I haven’t read the last two books yet but they’re next. All three books are available at the library.

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