BOSTON — Sunbury Press has released The Savage Apostle, John Kachuba’s historical novel, set in 1675 Massachusetts.
In 1675, when the body of Christian Indian John Sassamon is dragged up from beneath the ice of Assowampsett Pond, speculation is rife as to who murdered the man. Sassamon was a man caught between two worlds, that of his Wamponaug ancestry and that of his adopted English society; people on both sides could find cause to kill him.
John Eliot, missionary and founder of the Praying Villages where Christianized Indians lived among the colonists of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies is particularly grieved by his protégé Sassamon’s death. Eliot had converted the young Sassamon, educated him at Harvard, and trusted him as missionary to the Indians, especially to the Pokanoket and their sachem Metacom. Eliot knows that converting Metacom and his people could be the key to lasting peace between the colonists and the Indians, a fifty-year peace that is dangerously unraveling.
Metacom finds his authority and sovereignty once again undermined by the Plymouth authorities when three of his closest advisors are arrested for the murder of Sassamon. Pressured by his people to retaliate, but knowing the disastrous consequences war with the English would bring, Metacom struggles to find a way out, just as Eliot tries to keep the two sides from falling into a war that could only end in ruin for English and Indians alike.
Thoroughly grounded in years of research, The Savage Apostle, is an exciting and colorful account of the events leading up to King Philip’s War, the costliest war per capita ever fought on American soil. Moreover, it is an exemplary lesson for today’s world where divisiveness and conflict are so often brought about by racial and religious intolerance.
The author has included a helpful Discussion Guide in the book for teachers and book clubs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John B. Kachuba is the award-winning author of six books of nonfiction and one short-story collection. Four of these books are about ghosts and he is a frequent speaker on paranormal topics at libraries, universities, and confer-ences and on TV, radio, and Internet podcasts. The Savage Apostle is his first historical novel, although he has written prize-winning historical short stories. His short story, “The Reich Photographer’s Tale”, about Hitler’s personal photographer, won the Dogwood Fiction Prize.
Kachuba holds advanced degrees in Creative Writing and often teaches such writing at Ohio University, Antioch University Midwest in Yellow Springs, Ohio and at the Gotham Writers Workshop. For interviews, appearances, or virtual book clubs, contact him through his website: www.johnkachuba.com
We buried John Sassamon but a few days after the soldiers pulled his body from beneath the ice at Assawompset Pond. The grave diggers struggled to work their spades through the cold, brittle earth, finally gouging out only a shallow grave. Still, it was better he should lie in this hasty grave than wait for spring. Now, as the falling snow of a February storm hissed in the trees, I committed the man’s soul to eternity and the mercy of the Lord.
Constable Howland, the woman, and the two Indian gravediggers from the village shivered beside me in the cold, listening to my eulogy. Snow swirled around the five of us huddled at the graveside, at times obliterating us in a white fog, at others revealing us suddenly as ghosts.
The cold gnawed at my old bones. The storm muffled my words but it mattered little. I offered them up to God and heard them rise on the frosty air like the ashes of sacrifice. I could do no more. Not for this man.
The woman stood mutely beside me wrapped in a painted deer hide, her face blackened with soot in the old ways of mourning. She had spoken few words to me since I had arrived in Nemasket and I understood that Algonquian custom would never again allow her to speak aloud the name of her dead husband, lest his spirit be called back to the land of the living. It was just as well.
Many times had I wished the same custom would bind my tongue. Speak not in judgment, I thought, lest ye be judged. Yet, John Sassamon’s death was a blow to me. What more could I have done to prevent it?
The Savage Apostle
Authored by John B Kachuba
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
Sunbury Press, Inc.
BISAC: Fiction / Native American & Aboriginal
Coming Soon on Kindle
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