HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Improbable Connections: A Mayflower Story
Author: Ron W. Germaine
Cover Illustrator: Heather Germaine
Publisher: Germaine Publishing, 2020
Related website(s): http://www.rongermaine.com (author)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 12-16 and up, but suitable for everyone
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Category: Historical fiction
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Germaine, Ron W. Improbable Connections: A Mayflower Story (Published in 2020 by Germaine Publishing, P. O. Box 1690, Sumas, WA 98295). In 1607, Elisabeth Tilley is born to John and Joan Tilley at Henlow in the county of Bedfordshire, England. In 1614, when Elisabeth is seven, the Tilleys join other Separatists in Leiden, Holland. Then six years later, in 1620, they all sail as “Pilgrims” on the Mayflower to New England and help to found the new colony of Plymouth. There, after both parents die in the horrible winter of 1620-1621 and Elisabeth goes to live with John and Katherine Carver, she meets a Native American girl her own age named Hurit, the daughter of Samoset, an Abenaki sachem, and his wife Wawestseka. How will the relationship between Elisabeth and Hurit develop? Does Elisabeth survive the second hard winter? And if so, what awaits her in the future?
Improbable Connections is historical fiction—good historical fiction, with emphasis on the “historical.” It is based on actual events that occurred in the early 1600s through 1623. While certain characters are fictional, like Hurit and her mother, as are many specific details about the day to day life of the settlers, the vast majority of people mentioned were real, and the exciting description of the Mayflower crossing and the hardships that the newcomers endured in the settlement at Plymouth are accurate. Friendships and romances and lots of adventure are woven together with politics, trade, and religious differences of the time, blending fact and fiction to tell an uplifting story of improbable connections.