When Little Hawk was eleven he was taken blindfolded into the winter forest by his father and left there alone; in three months time, should he survive, he would return to his village a man. But the world Little Hawk comes back to is not the one his father knew: settlers from across the sea have arrived in Wampanoag territory bringing with them fine goods, new religions, violence and disease. Amongst the rising tensions between the tribes and the newcomers, the lives of Little Hawk and one of the settlers, a young boy named John, become irrevocably and fatally linked.
Ghost Hawk is an emotionally complex, finely-wrought tale which recreates the world of seventeenth-century America with both historical fidelity and respect. This is a superb book which deserves to become a future classic, but it is by no means a comforting read: Cooper takes bold risks with both her characters and her narrative, and a sense of the unquiet ghosts of the past haunts the book’s pages. Highly recommended.