Martha Conway’s book Thieving Forest is set in Ohio in 1806. It’s the frontier story of five orphaned sisters, four of whom are kidnapped by Native Americans. The girls are old enough to care for themselves after the death of their parents (killed by Swamp Fever), but when they are taken through Thieving Forest they are separated and must learn independence in a way they’d never planned to.
Told through the eyes of Susanna, the sister who believes in luck. She also happens to be lucky enough to be left behind when the others, Penelope, Beatrice, Aurelia, and Naomi are taken from their home. Susanna hurries to find help and follows after her sisters and their captors through a myriad of twists and events that leave her a slave to Indians. Throughout the trial of finding each of her sisters and eventually finding her own way in life through her journey through Black Swamp, Susanna encounters friends, enemies, death, and love.
I found Thieving Forest to be a steady read. It wasn’t a fast paced thriller, but a story steeped in history and lively characters that had me visualizing every event they encountered. Conway paints a beautiful and haunting picture of the land, the Quiner sisters, and the Native American Indian tribes. She brings frontier Ohio to life with this story.
If you’ve ever wondered about the history of this region or how you would handle a most horrific “what if” scenario of being orphaned and alone, picking up a copy of Thieving Forest is a good idea. You’ll find yourself captivated by the Quiner family and turning every page until you get to the end of their story. Thieving Story is a 5 star book. Well done, Martha Conway. Well done.