Having read a few of his short stories, author Tim Weed is an excellent wordsmith when it comes to evoking mood, scenery, and action. He uses this ability to great effect as he tells the story of a young English colonist named Will Poole who has escaped the oppressive confines of his Puritanical and fortified plantation. The settings and environments reflect the various characters’ personalities and moods within a wide array of situations, whether at sea in a small dugout mishoon, daily life within an Indian village, the induced hallucinations of spending countless days in a perpetually dark jail, or free among nature within the forests and along the shorelines. Combine this with a strong sense of historical research and Weed’s natural gift of storytelling, the tale of Will Poole’s Island is immersive. The characters, the Indian villages, the English plantation, and the sea vessels are all as real as the room I am sitting in.
Though this is a work of fiction, it serves as a true escape to a time early in southern New England’s history, much of which has been fragmented and lost due to a lack of surviving records and the unfortunate destruction of the Native American culture during the Great Migration era. As a native to Connecticut sharing a similar ancestral history with Tim Weed, I appreciate his efforts in bringing Will Poole’s story to life. I hope other readers will find similar enjoyment in this wonderful novel, if not for the history lessons alone.