Seneca Falls Inheritance Mass Market Paperback – 31 Dec 1998
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The description of life along the Erie Canal, the foods served at Thanksgiving dinner, the vegetation and weather were surprisingly familiar to me. My elderly father took me into the Post Office in PennYan, N.Y. and showed me the numbered brass mailbox where,as a boy, he used to pick up his father's mail. There is a sturdy practicality common to Upstate New Yorkers that is also captured in Monfredo's characters. She truly conveys the spirit and history of the area.
If you like the book, go visit! Seneca Falls (there really are beautiful falls there) is not far from Corning, N.Y., with a wonderful tour of the Corning Glass Works. Oneida Silver Company is located along Oneida Lake north of Syracuse. Drive west to Rochester and visit Kodak Corporation's informative exhibits. A bit furthertoward Buffalo is the beauty and power of Niagara Falls , where you can don a raincoat to ride the famous Maid of the Mist right into the whirling base of the falls. It was the American Indians in that area who told settlers that the long, clear Finger Lakes (Canadaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, and Cazenovia ) were formed by a swipe of the ancient Great Bear's paw. Although we usually think of bear as fierce, native americans saw him as a wise healer because he knew which plants to eat, and most like man, because he stood on two feet while grazing. A special area, even Joseph Smith had his spiritual experiences that began the Church of Latter Day Saints in nearby Palmyra. The majestic reenactment pageant is attended by more than Mormons each year.
There is more to New York than New York City. The lives of its people are inherent to our American Culture. Enjoy this book; be there!!
The main characters of the story are fictional, but many of the minor characters are real people of the time. The historical background is well-researched and mostly accurate. (I can't point to any historical inaccuracy, but even the best historical scholarship is unlikely to produce perfect knowledge of every detail.)
Whether you are just looking for great light reading or for a story that enhances your knowledge of the early history of the women's movement, you'll find it here, and you'll also enjoy the sequels, North Star Conspiracy, Blackwater Spirits, The Stalking Horse, Must the Maiden Die" and others.
NOTE TO HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHERS: These novels, and the novels of Kenneth Roberts (Rabble in Arms, Arundel and several others) provide an excellent means of bringing American history alive for your students, and getting them interested in the subject.