AWARDS & REVIEWS
The Cave of Storms is a two time award-winning finalist in the categories of literary fiction and historical fiction from Indie Excellence 2010.
The Cave of Storms is an award-winning finalist in the Historical Novel Category of Foreword Magazine’s 2009 Best Book of the Year Awards.
AS SEEN ON THE AUGUST 24, 2009 COVER OF PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
A Thrilling Novel of American History in the Tradition of the Early Captivity Chronicles.
“An Instant Feminist Classic!”
– Advance Praise for The Cave of Storms
“Is it damnation or salvation that awaited them? “The Cave of Storms: Remembrance of Things That Never Happened” is a novel set during the time of the witch hunts as a teenage girl flees Salem after her sister is executed as a witch. Captured by Abenaki, they face a new life with the native Americans, becoming wrapped in their traditions and the chaotic times of Colonial New England and the warring factions of the region. “The Cave of Storms” is a fascinating adventure, well worth experiencing.”
—Midwest Book Review
(Oregon, WI USA), May 7, 2010
“. . . This deeply intricate novel covers broad topics from early colonial history, feminism, and religious differences to paranormal elements. Weenolsen tackles thorny topics such as self-flagellation, jealousy, treachery and love . . . She uses historical narrative and conversation to weave the drama around the main characters. This is the first book in the “Remembrance of Things That Never Happened” series, which will focus on women, minorities, and other frequently overlooked people in different historical eras.”
Historical Novels Review Online, November, 2009
Historical Novel Society
“Epic in scope, brilliant in historical detail, and mesmerizing in plot, The Cave of Storms relates the story of a colonial American young woman’s journey from witchcraft to wilderness with Bead Woman who befriends her, Soaring Eagle who loves her, Father LeClairois whose self-flagellation she tries to heal, and Awasosak, the Sky Bear, who induces her to have his child. These memorable characters became part of my life for all too short a time.”
— Dr. Patricia Sullivan, Professor & Chair, Communication & Media,SUNY New Paltz
Co-Author, Political Rhetoric, Power and Renaissance Women, and From the Margins to the Center: Contemporary Women and Political Communication
“Despite a long and accomplished career as a psychologist and an author of nonfiction, Seattle septuagenarian Patricia Weenolsen isn’t resting on her laurels. This summer she has launched both a new publishing house, Rubythroat Press, and the first book in a promising new historical fiction series.
The Remembrance of Things That Never Happened series may have a cumbersome moniker, but its focus on the stories of America’s historically disenfranchised peoples – women, children, ethnic and religious minorities, political dissidents, the poor, and the mentally afflicted – holds great potential.
And The Cave of Storms, Weenolsen’s first book in the series, delivers in top form. This story has engaging characters, thought-provoking moral dilemmas and an action-packed plot.
The book begins with a series prologue that summarily yanks the reader out of the 21st century and spews a nightmarish stream-of-consciousness narrative that rejects, among other things, ‘the whole lonely litany of bifurcation’ between life and death, animate and inanimate.
Thus prepared, the shell-shocked reader is introduced to Chapter 1. It is 1692 in Salem, Mass., and 14-year-old Mary has become the oldest female in the household after her mother dies in childbirth and her older sister is hung as a witch.
But there are rumors afoot about Mary, too, fueled by her own younger sister, and soon Mary flees with her 5-year-old brother Ephraim, choosing the uncertainties of the wilderness over the dangerous hysteria of Puritan civilization.
The children encounter a madwoman who, desperate with grief over the loss of her entire family to smallpox, had fled Salem earlier. For a while they scrape along together, hiding in a cave. But when the woman dies, the children face starvation until they are captured by a band of Abenaki Indians and taken north.
Led by the chief sachem Awasosak, the Abenaki treat Mary and Ephraim with tolerance and teach them their ways.
The years pass and the children grow through adolescence and into adulthood. Awasosak takes a fancy to Mary, while Ephraim’s vision quests give him stature in the tribe.
At the same time, the Abenaki are having to cope with a number of problems – encroaching colonists, marauding Iroquois and proselytizing missionaries among them. Jesuit priests and natives spar verbally over their beliefs. But there are darker, multifaceted questions about religious practices, sacrifice and miracles.
In fabricating this tale, Weenolsen has twined together early colonial history with feminism and supernatural elements. Traditionalists may be offended by her revisionism, but most students of history recognize that objectivity is a tough thing to nail down.
“The Cave of Storms” resolves satisfactorily, but not completely. Readers will have every reason to believe that they will see Mary again as, in books to come, she forges her own unique path through colonial history.”
– Barbara Lloyd McMichael, the Bookmonger —The Olympian and The Tacoma News-Tribune, September 6, 2009, — The Bellingham Herald and the Kitsap Sun, August 30, 2009.