This rather melodramatic saga, first in the American Dreams series, is unlikely to linger long in the reader's memory. On the ship from England to Jamestown in 1620, orphaned Sarah Douglas's only relative, an aunt, dies of "the fever." Alone, Sarah moves to Martin's Hundred, a settlement near Jamestown, where, disgruntled, she tutors children and eventually plants tobacco in hopes of earning her passage back to England. The plot limps along until close to novel's end, when irate Native Americans stage a bloody attack on the settlement; Sarah, unbelievably, witnesses the carnage from a perch in a tree. Coombs (Saving Casey) closes her tale predictably: the settlers avenge the gruesome assault and Sarah agrees to marry a kind man. Sarah's bond to the New World is thereby cemented, but the story has little to similarly tether the reader's interest. Ages 12-up.
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