This is the second in this fantastic bicentennial series by John Jakes.  Remember the first?

The protagonist, Phillip Kent, is a young man forging ahead in his adopted homeland.  He is sucked into the war, fighting against the Crown for American Independence.  He meets amazing individuals, like Experience Tait, who proves quite handy at the birth of his son, Abraham.

Loss and devastation…..

The reader is introduced to the firebrand personality of Judson Fletcher, divisions in his family on Sermon Hill, their involvement in the appalling institution of American slavery.

There are many details about the war, of historical interest.  For me though, the human stories are most notable.  Another encounter with Tom Shaw’s widow, is the reason Judson misses out on the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition.  The sad end to Experience Tait.  A business deal gone wrong, is the reason Anne crosses paths with the dangerous Captain Malachi Rackham.

An abduction.  A tragedy at sea……..

Somehow, Phillip must overcome, and he must continue to strive for a better tomorrow.  He has the company of his good friend Gil, the Marquis de Lafayette, as he finalizes the signboard for “Kent and Son.”  The narrative comes full circle, Elizabeth Fletcher ends up in the Kent household when her mother Peggy remarries.

I loved this second part to the bicentennial series.  It’s the dawn of the first generation of natural born American Kents.  A fantastic addition to the library of any historical fiction lovers out there!  Click here if you’d like to buy a copy and don’t forget to leave a comment to let me know what you thought after reading the book!

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About the author:

John Jakes was born in Chicago on March 31, 1932. He was educated at DePauw, and Ohio State Universities. A prolific writer, he was awarded honorary doctorates for his contribution to the US bicentennial celebrations.