Read what people think about Savage Lands by Clare Clark, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

Savage Lands

by Clare Clark

Savage Lands
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Feb 2010
    416 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Reviews

Page 2 of 3
There are currently 18 reader reviews for Savage Lands
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Eileen F. (Ephrata, WA) (12/07/09)

Savage Lands
Savage Lands is a historical page turning novel of France's attempt to settle and claim the Louisiana territory. Her main characters, Elizabeth a casket girl, and Auguste a poor cabin boy, developed into very strong characters. It is a story of hope, survival, betrayal, fear, and strength. The history of the slaves, the local Indian tribes, the attempt to cultivate the land,and the other immigrants, all held my attention.

Clark's prose is at times almost poetic. She keeps the drama of her story flowing by intricately weaving parts of the present into future chapters. Her author's notes at the end of the book were very informative. They detailed the actual history of the time. Clark now has me hooked, I will have to read her other novels.
John D. (Garland, TX) (12/07/09)

Going nowhere
I gave this book the 50 page test and gave it up. Too many paragraphs like "She dreamed about it when he was gone, the images in bright fragments like shards of broken glass catching the light. His gold-flecked eyes in a plump infant face. His long fingers in dimpled fists. A lean, sunburned face and a creamy new one, cheek to cheek, like a slippage in time". UGH.
Mary M. (Lexingtin, KY) (12/06/09)

Disappointing
I finished this book not liking the characters very much and without a clear picture or understanding of the time period. One thing I really did not like was that the author moved the story forward too quickly. For instance the main female character was on the boat and then she was married. No explanation of what happened in between. I needed a bit more background and story development. I kept expecting to get a real insight into the time period and the people, but I never did. Something was missing.
Sande O. (Rochester, NY) (12/06/09)

Riveting and Thought-provoking Read
Clare Clark takes the reader into a very primitive land in her historical novel, Savage Lands. This is not the Louisiana of the antebellum South, this is the pioneer land of 18th century French, English and Native American combatants. The initial background is the French effort to "civilize" settlement of the frontier by sending "casket wives" to the territory and it ends with the Louisiana Bubble, an economic disaster.

Throughout the well-researched narrative we follow the lives of women caught in the drama of settlement, love, betrayal and survival. It is reminiscent in many ways of novels coming out of third world countries today: women's lives playing against a much larger backdrop they cannot control.

Altogether a riveting and thought-provoking read.
Constance S. (Sacramento, CA) (12/06/09)

Exquisite prose
Clare Clark's prose is exquisite in this very intricately woven tale of life in the early 1700's Louisiana Territory when France began its settlement among the Chikasaw and Choctaw Indians.The three main characters, Elisabeth,Jean Claude and Auguste are very human with their virtues and frailties.The love scenes are sensuous but muted. The descriptions of primitive living by the settlers puts us there with them thanks to the research and skillful writing of the author, who, by the way lightens the pages with sprinkles of humor.

This historical fiction brings to mind Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier. Savage Lands is a totally satisfying read for lovers of good literature.
Mary D. (Watertown, NY) (12/01/09)

Then
I love learning about little known areas of America's past. And there's no more enjoyable way to do this than through the eyes of a good author. Here, Clare Clark has brought to life a slice of Louisiana's story you probably won't read in many history texts. You'll see, smell and feel the country as it was. It's a story rich with emotions that will have you wishing to comfort some characters and give others the boot. All things considered, it was a satisfying read that will have me seeking other books by Clark.
Anne G. (Austin, TX) (11/30/09)

Savage Lands
An interesting depiction of the early days of Louisiana, this book delivered little known facts of history and an interesting story. The story was related by an omniscient narrator and thus seemed somewhat distant and ethereal while at the same time giving the reader intimate knowledge of the characters’ fears, pain, sorrow, and grief.

Prior to reading this book I was unaware of the 'casket girls' and the role they played in the population and development of Louisiana. It is hard to imagine the thought of a young girl heading to America with the intent to sell herself to a husband in the New World.

The information about the Native American tribes was also interesting but not well integrated into the story with the exception of the characters Okatomih/Jeanne and little Marguerite, by far my favorite character in the story.

I think this book provides plenty of topics for a good book club discussion and I'm now intrigued to read more by this author.
Brenda D. (Lincoln, CA) (11/29/09)

Savage Lands
Clare Cook's novel, Savage Lands, depicts a time and setting that is certainly aptly titled. She brings a fascinating picture of a part of U.S. history that is probably little known to most of us outside of the Louisiana area. During the early 1700's, it was a very primitive area and life was incredibly difficult for everyone, especially the women. The main character of the story, a "casket girl," was treated as a commodity, much like the food, supplies, and wine that were furnished by the French government to the male settlers. It is a story of passionate, unexpected love, intense friendship, betrayal, and ultimately survival.

However, I didn't particularly like the style of writing. To me, there were too many descriptive sentences. "The white moon was bandaged in gauzy cloud." This is an example of the style throughout the book, and I found it very distracting.

That being said, I think there are many areas within the story that will provide good discussion material for book groups.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Readalikes

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.