Dear America: Standing in the Light, The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan (Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania 1763) by Mary Pope Osborne

standing“Standing in the Light” is a beautiful story that stands (no pun intended) on its own, even outside of the DA series. In this diary, thirteen-year-old farmgirl Caty is just like any other Quaker girl in her Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania society, until she and her seven-year-old brother Thomas are abducted by Lenape Indians. At first, she detests the “savages” who stole her from her home and altered her entire life as she knew it, and she dreaded the worst for her and her brother– torture or death. But as the Lenape treat them kindly and incorporate them into their families and village, Caty and her brother learn the Lenape’s ways, become part of them, and begin to love them.

(*SPOILER WARNING*) Caty’s affection for the Indians grows to the point where she falls in love with a fellow English-captive-turned-Native, and is subsequently miserable upon her eventual “rescue” and return home to her family. Because of her transformation among and love for the Indians, no one in her society can relate to her, nor even wants to associate with her any longer.

This book ends very sadly. Unfortunately, Caty is far ahead of her time in her compassion, respect for, and understanding of Indians as human beings equal to white people. Being one of the few white people with this knowledge, she is destined for a sad and lonely life. Also evident throughout this novel are undertones of religious and spiritual unity, as this devout Quaker girl comes to understand her Christian God as the same being as the Indians’ Great Spirit, only called by a different name. A hauntingly touching and tragic story, and one which I enthusiastically recommend.

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