The Pioneers, Or, The Sources of the Susquehanna by James Fenimore Cooper is the first novel that he wrote in the Leatherstocking Tales series, the fourth in chronological order. The story takes place in a fictitious settlement in the mountains of New York in 1793. It tells the story of Marmaduke Temple, the founder of the settlement, and his daughter Elizabeth and various residents of the settlement as well as Natty Bumppo, a Mohican Indian chief that became a Christian and took the name John and a younger man named Oliver Edwards that live a few miles outside the settlement. The book covers a little under a year.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and it was slow reading at first. There are people from various ethnic backgrounds in the community and each talk with an accent of their native tongue. It gets confusing at times when there are several in a discussion and each talking in their accent. It also have a lot of “thee’s” and “thou’s” in the dialogues which get confusing at times in modern English. There isn’t much action or adventure in the first half of the book, which combined in the above statements, makes the reading dry and not as much interesting to me, but I stuck it through to the end.
This book can be downloaded in various ebook formats from these sites:
Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2275
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pioneers-james-fenimore-cooper/1100316480?ean=9781605019680
Tim’s Rating: ***
(Three out of five stars)
I’m off to read another book. Check back periodically for more book reviews.