Book Review: Flesh and Grass by Libby Cone

Title: Flesh and Grass
Author: Libby Cone
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: June 10, 2011
Paperback: 174 pages
ISBN: 978-1451512885
Genre: Historical Fiction

From the back of the book:

Seventeenth-century Holland is a major power with a large, wealthy middle class built on spices and slavery. Dutch schemes to colonize the New World attracts few interested parties, but Pieter Cornelissoon Boom, an early Mennonite with a dream of communal living, brings a few families to Delaware Bay in 1663. Their “Little Common-wealth” is just getting started when the bloody economic rivalry between Holland and England unleashes violence on the coast of Delaware. The Nieuw Netherland colonies swing between Dutch and English ownership in a series of Anglo-Dutch wars. Cornelis, Boom’s blind son, tells the story of the community (based loosely on the ill-fated Delaware settlement of Pieter Plockhoy) in its various forms of existence, relying on his exquisite memory of scent.

My Review:

Flesh and Grass by Libby Cone is an extremely well-crafted work of historical fiction inspired by the true to life Plockhoy settlement in Delaware in the mid-1600’s.  Cone captures many details in her descriptions of the construction of the settlement, giving readers pause to reflect upon what tremendously hard work was necessary to build communities in colonial times.  The immense adversity faced by the Dutch colonists comes to life through Cone’s descriptions of the power struggle surrounding the new community through the experiences of Cornelis, the blind son of one of the Dutch settlers, Pieter Boom.  Cone uses Cornelis’s blindness in a unique approach to story telling wherein the sense of smell takes a more important role in the experiences and memories of Cornelis.  Though short in page length, good stories need not be long and Flesh and Grass proves that assertion.  Captivating and masterful describe Cone’s work, and for those looking for an excellent historical fiction novel about one of the most interesting times in history for North America, I recommend Libby Cone’s Flesh and Grass.

To learn more about author Libby Cone and her books, please visit her websites: www.fleshandgrass.com, www.waronthemargins.com, and on Twitter @LibbyCone.

I received a complimentary copy of Flesh and Grass by Libby Cone from the author. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.


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