A World Away
Set in the 1580s in England and Virginia, this is the love story of Nadie, a Native American girl from Secota, near Roanoke, and Tom, a young Plymouth blacksmith. It is told in short, alternating first-person chapters, which create a gripping narrative.
Nadie is captured in a raid by settlers from the English colony of Roanoke and taken to England as an exhibit for Sir Walter Raleigh. Abandoned in Plymouth, bewildered and afraid, she encounters both hostility and friendship. Tom is fascinated by her from the start. He defends her from her tormentors, and gradually the two fall in love.
Nadie is desperate to return to Secota to be reunited with her father and to honour her murdered mother’s grave — but when the chance comes she also wants to stay with Tom. In the end it is Tom who gives up his life in Plymouth and sails with her, joining the second expedition to colonize Roanoke. But neither Tom nor Nadie find what they were expecting. The colonists suffer escalating horrors, and Tom and Nadie are separated. Will they ever find each other again?
Told in vivid, poetic style, this story springs from the page in colours as bright as a Virginia fall. Images of fire recur throughout: the smithy, the fires of purgatory, the fires of love, of destruction, of a forest fire. The narrative unfolds in a series of dramatic scenes, with no unnecessary detail. This is a beautifully written book that brings to life the clash of cultures in the New World.