Since this is the first historical fiction I ve read in a while, I m not going to say much about that What I will say is that by about page 100 I was completely immersed in the history The hook was definitely slow and for the first few chapters it felt like a chore than a read for pleasure Looking back, I could attribute that to Hague s fantastic research and detail to everyday life She really established these characters in their time As a die hard romantic, I found both Sarah and Wind Maiden incredibly frustrating I liked it as much as it annoyed me It just goes to show how important good communication is in a relationship Lack of communication between characters drove me mad, in a good way Because I only read the first paragraph on the back cover blurb, I didn t even realize the spoiled ending massacre and, when I did, I found myself stuck in the rut of expecting it It kind of dampened the shock for me The ending was a little vague in places I found myself getting confused over reality and imaginary I ll probably have to go back to read it again to understand it fully One thing that I loved at the beginning was the two very distinct voices of Wind Maiden and Sarah You could distinguish their patterns of thought from each other This teetered off towards the end of the book and I found myself getting whiplash from the sudden, mid page POV changes I got used to it after a while the trick is to watch for Salah for Wind Maiden s POV but it was still jarring Powerful, frustrating, and beautifully articulated The story rolls like life it has its ups and downs, its triumphs and its heavy, heavy losses I highly recommend it to writers for the wonderful artistry and to readers for the complete immersion that Hague offers. In , Sarah Himmel, Reared Parentless In The Moravian Christian Community Of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Marries A Stranger To Accompany Him As A Missionary To The Indians Of The Ohio Wilderness On The Banks Of The Elk S Eye, Wind Maiden Dreams Of A Man But Marries A Boy Despite The Two Women S Differences, Friendship Grows Against The Backdrop Of The Revolutionary War, Through Joy And Misery, Birth And Death, They Sustain One Another Until Strength Triumphs Over Weakness And Life Reigns Over Death DANCING THROUGH FIRE Is A Carefully Researched Account Of The Events From To Which Culminated In The Massacre Of Than Christian Indians At Gnadenhutten In Eastern Ohio All Historic Events Are Actual, And All Secondary Characters Are Real Although Fictional, The Novel S Main Characters Are Accurate Depictions Of Indians And Moravian Missionaries Of The Revolutionary War Period DANCING THROUGH FIRE Is A Recipient Of The OHIO ARTS COUNCIL FELLOWSHIP GRANT FOR CREATIVE WRITING JoAnn is a talented writer A couple of my favorite examples are these The sun dripped its idle rays down to the forest floor Later, referring to the sky Where it bent to touch the earth, it lightened with the snow s glow Her vivid imagery pulls you right into the story This is the first story I ve read of that time period April 24, 1775 March 23, 1782 that wasn t directly about the Revolutionary War It was interesting to see the war as a barely mentioned event with the Indian story in the forefront If you re interested in historically accurate fiction from the female point of view, this book is a must read Very well written. I received this book as a giveaway from the author through the First Reads program on Goodreads It came autographed with a nice bookmark as well Spoilers ahead, please don t read if you don t want to know about the plot.It took me a little while to get into this book at first For some reason, though I enjoy them, books with American Indians tend to take longer for me to read and get through I think it s partly since the cultures of American Indian tribes are vastly different from what I am used to, and you really have to concentrate to figure out people s rationales for their actions and their thoughts Secondly, as some of the characters are Quaker missionaries, there is a lot of religion within the book It stands to reason, with the time period of the book and the setting, but religion, regardless of the era always throws me for a loop as well.Once I warmed to the characters though, the book really started to move, with the struggles of Sarah, a young Quaker missionary who has recently married and moved from her home in Bethlehem to try and convert members of the Lenne Lanape tribe to Christianity The other main character is a young Lenne Lenape girl, Wind Maiden who is also recently married, but dealing with her own issues as well.Reading of the struggles that early American settlers had to endure, it s amazing how far the nation has come in such a relatively short period of time It s also extremely sad that entire communities of American Indians had to die to get to where we are I do have to say that by the end of the book, I was starting to get really angry at the foolishness of the settlers, as well as of some of the Indian people I know the Quakers wanted to stay neutral during the American Revolution, and tried to help the Indians, not wanting them to get swept up in the war, but being so indecisive and inactive as to accept impending doom because it s God s will just struck me as burying their heads in the sand, and not taking charge of their own lives when they could have I guess if a book can evoke such strong feelings in me, the writing must be pretty good, though overall it just reinforced the concept of Religion makes people do stupid things to me I really enjoyed the insight the book gave me into how some American Indians perceive things, and some of the various cultural traits, such as not using a person s name when speaking with them, as well as some of their beliefs, like burying words which they do not want to speak, and their concept of actually becoming a brand new person when embaracing new ideas Overall, the book is a good read, especially if you like reading about American Indians, and the lifestyles of Revolutionary War era Quakers. This wrenchingly beautiful story of friendship between two very different women is set against the backdrop of a little known and shameful event in America s history It s that rare treat of a book literate and so compelling it s hard to put aside even after it s finished.In 1775 Sarah, insecure and self effacing, is chosen by her Brethren community to marry a stranger and accompany him to a missionary outpost in the Ohio wilderness Wind Maiden, smug, self centered young daughter of the Lenni Lenape tribe, hungers for ribbons and bells and a warrior husband, but must settle for a childhood friend with an invalid mother Their lives twist together in a pattern neither would choose as rival tribes, English soldiers and American colonists all vie for control of the land.The cadence and imagery of the words are spellbinding, as illustrated by the line They shared a gourd of silence With skill, author JoAnn Hague paints an unflinching mural of the harshness of frontier conditions Good or bad, we feel, smell and taste the world she creates.Though some of the novel s principal characters are missionaries, its purpose is not to proselytize Instead it s a rich story with universal themes The blindness imposed by a vision Betrayal Forgiveness Self deception and self discovery The nature of hope.Ultimately, it asks readers a question whose answer depends on the individual What s worth believing in Firstly, as I won this book as part of First Reads, I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review this book.This was a very interesting story about an event in history regarding Christian Indians and missionaries, focussing on the relationship between two very different women Sarah and Wind Maiden The two could not be different different backgrounds and very different temperaments and personalities, yet mutual admiration and respect brings these two women together.I very much enjoyed reading about this particular time in history and found the portrayals of life and the hardships of the land and living arrangements very real and I could feel their despair, coldness etc I did struggle a bit with the names of the people, groups etc and got them a bit confused at times.I was also a little unclear at times about what was really happening and what were fantasies visions hallucinations and the use of quotation marks when people were actually thinking the words and not speaking them was a bit distracting and confusing as well Overall though, I found the book very interesting, moving and disturbing. Dancing through the Fire is a beautifully written book, Hague has a nice way of being descriptive of the surroundings as well as of the people and there beliefs I agree with other reviewers that the book is very well researched as well It tells a story about an aspect of history that is not well known to everyone That is why I gave this book 3 stars.That being said, if I hadn t recieved this book from the Goodreads giveaways I may never have finished reading it because when it came to my personal enjoyment of the book I probably would have rated it along a 2 1 2 It is an extremely slower read The conversations started but didn t go anywhere, everyone s thoughts seemed half formed and never fully developed I understood them talking that way between the teachers and the indians as the translation wouldn t have worked perfectly, but there personal thoughts I would have thought would have been fully formed I think that there are a lot of people who will enjoy this book and while it was full of beautifully written descriptions it just wasn t my kind of book. An amazing book It was a little difficult to get into at first as she writes from the point of view of two main characters from very different cultures I found it easy when I was reading the white woman s version but a little challenging when reading from the native american point of view But this is merely a matter of which way of thinking is familiar to the contemporary reader Soon enough I got into the rhythm and there was no longer a difficulty.I want to emphasise that this is not a weakness in the author s writing but a wonderful strength With this book I felt I really inhabited both cultures without awareness of an outside narrator This is a remarkably moving and sensitive book It gets my highest compliment that I feel it has changed me for the better. This story was confusing, but something about it made me keep reading anyway. JoAnn Hague is a gifted researcher She was able to accurately portray an uncomfortable, mostly forgotten time in history.