It is noteworthy that author, Toni Kief, is a direct descendent of Susanna Jackson White Winslow, one of the Pilgrims who made the voyage from Holland to Plymouth, Massachusetts on the Mayflower. Kief revives Susanna’s arduous journey with historical accuracy via the protagonist’s first-person narrative.
Throughout this narrative, the archaic ebb and flow of language, along with graphic sensory details, lend much authenticity to a voyage plagued by illness and death. The reader witnesses the strength, resilience, and endurance of the women who maintained their ordained position in the family, but clearly were capable of so much more.
Susanna and the few surviving women prove just how invaluable they are in establishing a community in Plymouth.
Susanna’s tireless efforts to save lives plagued by illness using herbs to making such concoctions as rosehip tea, is a corollary to those frontline workers trying to save patients afflicted with COVID-19.
I highly recommend this historical biographical fiction for its compelling voyage born from the author’s in-depth research, and her admirable portrayal of Susanna, a woman who deserves just as much recognition as the men who signed the Mayflower Compact.