Book title: Remember the Morning
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates Inc
Publication year: 1997
Thomas Fleming in this book, Remember the Morning, sets the foundational brick of an American classic and historical series, a saga that fires into one’s imagination and stays with you for a long time after you read it. It is a stunning book with two dramatic and powerful women, radically different yet bound together by heritage, experience, circumstance, in a blazing tale that plumbs morality as brilliantly as it illuminates a crucial part of American past.
Clara and Catalyntie both lost their parents while they were young (arguably I think while they were 5), they were killed by some Indians who captured them with Catalyntie’s two older siblings – Peter and Eva, who both died in captivity. While in captive, Clara the black young woman was treated like a princess while the other white captive was made to eat poorly. The book further narrows down into how these young women were made to suffer at the hands of their captors at a time they knew little or nothing – After a number of years, the young women were part of a treaty that results in them being turned over to the white people. (This brought another “complication,” as one of the girls was actually a slave–but didn’t even know it.) The book gives that background and then moves into what happens to the young women as they enter the world of the white man. Catalyntie seems to be focused on material things as to the opposite of who Clara is, who is more disposed at giving help to others.
This is a book into the life and times of America and Americans with much of historical allusions in a story set primarily in 1700’s New York City. I guess most of some non-enthusiastic readers would have skimmed through some of the war sections in this book, I know it might just look boring to them. Though, an insight into the plots of the book will give readers a concise account into American history of the classics. Intertwined in the lives of the main characters is rich vivid history. French, Dutch, English,
African and Indians all played a part in creating America.
Remember the Morning helps explain how life was after the English took over from the Dutch. France and England fought over the land, trading rights and even the Indians. The Africans struggled for their freedom while they remain the major race that helped in gathering the ‘wealth’ we’re seeing in America today. The Catholics worshipped in secret and wished for their own freedom. Fleming writes wonderfully. He’s taken the facts of American history and made them the background to a good story. You hardly realise that you’re learning something until it hits you hard like a tornado. Not to worry, Fleming is such a distinguished historian with vast history into the making of a nation where it takes root from.
I will gladly recommend this book if you’re a historical fiction enthusiast and even a student given to historical account would want to learn more about pre-revolutionary America.