My Father's Kingdom

  • by James W. George
  • Narrated by Angus Freathy
  • 6 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1620, more than 100 devout men and women crossed the treacherous Atlantic Ocean and established a colony in the New World where they could build a righteous and Godly society. Without the fortuitous friendship of the Wampanoag people and their charismatic leader Massasoit, however, it is doubtful the holy experiment would have survived.
Fifty years later Plymouth Colony has not only survived, it has prospered, and more and more Englishmen are immigrating to New England. The blessed alliance with the Wampanoag, however, is in severe jeopardy. Massasoit has passed away along with most of the original settlers of Plymouth Colony, and their children and grandchildren have very different ideas about their historic friendship.
Thrust into the center of events is Reverend Israel Brewster, an idealistic young minister with a famous grandfather and a tragic past. Meanwhile, Massasoit's son, known as "King Philip" by the English, is tormented by both the present and the past. He is watching the resources and culture of the Wampanoag nation fade away at the hands of the English and desperately wishes to restore hope and security to his people.
In a world of religious fervor, devastating sickness, and incessant greed, can the alliance of their forefathers survive? Or will New England feel the wrath of tragic, bloody war?


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting take of some American History

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by James W. George. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

This book relates the story of a colony in the New World fifty years after its arrival, and how they related to the people which had to share the land with: the Wampanoag. The new arrivals received a lot of help in the beginning, but later on they became much stronger than the Wampanoag and it seemed impossible to keep their agreements since their ideals and ways were too different.

I was not sure what to expect from a book in which the word puritan was included in the title. As an atheist I am not very interested in stories with a religious background, but I found the subject historically interesting and this is why I decided to listen to this book. First I have to say that the fear I had was unfounded. There was some religion and religious men in this book, but this was inherent to the society of the time, and James W. George did a very good job in depicting 17th century people's ways in the New World. His writing had such beauty that listening to this book was a delight.

It was at first a bit difficult to keep track of all the Indian names but making a quick list saved me some trouble later on. This is one of the things to take into account regarding audiobooks. With written books one can always go some pages back and check but with audiobooks if we are up against many new characters with exotic names at once, I find that lists are a must.

When writing historical fiction I think it is difficult to find a balance between narrating what really happened and making it accessible to the general public. George did a wonderful job by making this subject known to people who did not know much about it like me. His characters were not very developed, but nevertheless it was easy to connect to them, even though I found difficult to understand why they acted like they did. I guess it was a different place and time, and with a much different mentality.

I find this part of American History sad, but it is something that should become well known so that we can learn to avoid making the same mistakes. George has managed to make this history interesting and attractive to the reader. We all know how it went afterwards, but nevertheless I am looking forward to the sequel.

Angus Freathy's style matched perfectly George's style. He did a wonderful job with the narration and the characters' interpretations. I noticed some different voices in some occasions, but most of the time I have to say that the characters sounded the same to me. The book was very well written, so there was no confusion possible, but I just wanted to mention this. There were some little issues like swallowing noises or noticeable breath intakes through the nose, but I was fine with it. Almost towards the end of the book (5:51:01) there is a little hesitancy when pronouncing a word, something that should have been edited, in my opinion. There was also a tiny background noise almost all the time during the recording, but not enough to spoil the narration.

I really enjoyed this piece of history, and I am looking forward to the continuation of the series. If you are interested in history, just do not let it pass because it may seem too religious. It is not, but we have to keep in mind how important religion was at the time.
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- Lomeraniel

Excellent novel on a little discussed subject

The element that was the most interesting draw for me in selecting this book was the subject matter: My Father’s Kingdom focuses on the events in colonial America that lead up to King Phillip’s War. Now this is an area that I have only heard of in passing, did not learn about in any of my American History or Native American classes in school, and hasn’t been the subject of any novels that I have read. I’m always looking for new historical fiction set in America and love finding niche areas to read about and My Father’s Kingdom fits the bill. As the author points out at the end in his Notes section, this event was quite significant in early colonial history however most classes focus on the initial settling at Plymouth and Jamestown and then jump over 100 years to the Revolution, missing this unsettled time period entirely.

In My Father’s Kingdom, James George tells the story through dual narrative of that of a Wampanoag and from the perspective of the Puritan colonists. Through this storytelling method we see the issues resulting from the clash of the two cultures from both sides and it felt fairly even in terms of balance. I never really felt that the author was choosing a side. There were some characters that felt sympathy for the other culture and then those who didn’t care one bit to live peaceably with them – which is likely rather true about perspectives of the time.

There were some elements that bogged me down a little bit, primarily the emphasis on the Puritan ideals and religious belief, but I felt that it was important to get into the mindset of these colonists. At the same time there were some excellent action/drama scenes that kept the story moving; I especially appreciated the court trial scene of a group of Native Americans because of how ridiculous the whole thing was and how it showed the vast difference in the two perspectives.

While the story ends just at the first shots, literally, of King Phillip’s War I thought that George did an excellent job of bringing the reader right up into those events with a solid understanding of the complex web of events that lead to it. You can easily figure out what the end result of the war will be, one of the characters analyzes that and speaks to his people about it, but you can still see why they make that choice to go to war.

I would highly recommend this book for fans of American historical fiction as it will present something that is a fresh idea that has not been overdone.

Audiobook discussion:
Angus Freathy does a very good job narrating this book. His more subtle British accent lends itself well to the personification of the colonial characters. Freathy creates unique voices for all of his characters which lends itself to their uniqueness and how they stand out as individuals in my mind even looking back on it. His voice for one of Brewster’s adversaries is hilariously comical and heightened my enjoyment of the scenes he was in. Having grown up and lived in the area that this book takes place I did recognize some mispronunciations of locations and names, but it wouldn’t have likely been a noticeable issue for non-residents. I give Freathy kudos for actually singing the songs that make appearance in the novel rather than simply reading them. While not an excellent singer, his attempt at this made the listening experience feel more full and to what the author would have wanted the reader to experience; I know that I tend to sing songs in my head when I encounter them on the page even when I have no point of reference for the tune. Freathy asks for us to ignore his poor singing in the Author/Narrator notes, but I give him props for this, no apology needed!
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- Heather C

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-18-2017
  • Publisher: James W. George