Narrated by Little Hawk, this is a story in 4 parts, each named after a phase of the moon, although I hadn't realised that until the end of part 1, when there is a shock. Part 1 Freezing Moon is the story of mans first engagement with First Nation people as they begin to inhabit the lands around Boston, following their pilgrimage from Britain. This is when young John Whateley meets Little Hawk. Part 2 Planting Moon follows on immediately in time, following the story of John as he grows up and becomes an apprentice to a cooper and then a journeyman. This is where his beliefs about First Nation people develop as he continues to regularly meet with Little Hawk, who teaches him his language. He meets and eventually marries Huldah and moves to a new colony where Baptists and like minded thinkers live freely. PArt 3 Burning Moon continues Johns and his family story and the growing tensions between First Nations and white man, culminating in raids on property and many deaths. Part 4 Ripening Moon seems to bring the story up to date when a woman is returning her piece of land on the island where John and little Hawk met, back to its native plants. She finds a tomahawk that once belonged to Little Hawk and decides to bury it, so closing the circle of life and setting the native spirits free. I've been deliberatley careful in how I've worded this review as I wouldn't want to give too much away of the story, but it's a good read and illuminating about the early life of settlers in America. Susan Cooper has herself moved to the US and lives on a piece of land that inspires the island in the story, and although she has made up teh characters and majority of events - they are based on solid evidence and historical fact and she provides links to further sources and reading at the end.
Well worth reading