Native Son

Written by J.M. Hochstetler
Review by B. J. Sedlock

In 1775, the British have placed a price on ex-officer Jonathan Carleton’s head for deserting to the Continental forces. His love, Elizabeth Howard, pretends to be a Tory while spying for the Americans. George Washington asks them to wait to marry, sending Elizabeth into Tory-held Boston to gather intelligence, and Carleton to lead a delegation to the Indians to negotiate their support. When a hostile tribe enslaves him, Carleton suddenly understands the plight of his own slaves in Virginia. A mystical experience with a white eagle raises his status among the Indians, some of whom see him as a war leader. Will he return to Elizabeth and “civilization,” or remain to lead the Shawnee against the settlers?

The religious elements of this Christian historical are heavier than average, including several scenes of Carleton, now called White Eagle, evangelizing to the Shawnee. I didn’t quite believe Carleton’s motive for “going native” and changing sides (yet again) to fight against the Americans. He is true to Elizabeth when he refuses an Indian wife, but if he loves her that much, would he really fight against the cause she is working for? The unresolved ending leaves the door wide open for the third installment of the American Patriot Series.