The House of Winslow Books 1-8
The prolific historical fiction writer of this forty-book series is a favorite of mine. Regardless of what era of American history Gilbert Morris writes, he writes well-researched material and well-developed characters who live in interesting and inspiring plots. Sometimes, in fact, the development of his character almost borders on too many features!
Morris started this series in 1986 as far as I can tell, but I am not sure. I know that by 1990 the first four books could be purchased together for a set at a value price. They started in hardcover, then moved to paper back in a very short time. The last book of the series, The White Knight, was published in 2007.
The main character is Gilbert Winslow and he is developed. He is fictional although several of the characters in the first book are actual men and women in history. In the first eight books, Gilbert is mentioned and from what I read about the last book, he is mentioned in that book too. There was an Edward Winslow who signed the Mayflower Compact and it is my assumption that author, Morris, draws on that name as well as several other names in The Honorable Imposter that are included as passenger names on the Mayflower voyage in 1620.
Book 2, The Captive Bride, features Gilbert Winslow’s sister, Rachel, and the progression of the settling in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Salem Witch trials are also in this book.
Book 3, The Indentured Heart, features Adam Winslow, grandson of Gilbert Winslow and his adventure in England where he rescues a girl from a family of terrible circumstances. He brings her back to America not as much as an indentured servant but as a means for her freedom. This book includes the fascinating research into the Jonathan Edwards family and entwines into the Winslow family. This book began capturing my heart! It remained my favorite until book seven. Adam Winslow is an exceptionally strong character.
The Gentle Rebel, book 4, takes the readers into the Pre-Revolutionary era with the Winslow family. The leading character is now a fourth generation from Gilbert, but he appears in a book published from his journal. The rebel is a girl who disguises herself as a man and is pushed into joining the Continental Army. The story has plot twists and absorbs the reader’s interest for sure. While Julie is the main character, both Nathan (Adam’s son) and Paul (cousin to Nathan) are also strong characters and they continue into the next book.
The Saintly Buccaneer takes the reader from Valley Forge unto a sailing ship and into the Continental Navy. This book introduces characters that travel into the next book, The Holy Warrior, and a plot that is entirely different. The plot is gripping and I found it one of those plots that make your eyes pop open and you audibly say, “Now what!”
Book 7, The Reluctant Bridegroom, takes the reader back to the parents we found in Valley Forge. Their son, Christmas Winslow, casts an entirely different Winslow image. While the book has ties to the previous book, the story is about Sky Winslow, the son of Christmas and a half-breed Native American woman named White Dove. Until this book, book three had been my favorite. This book took over. It features the Oregon Trail. It is a love story that keeps the reader thinking, “Well, Sky, just move into this love thing,” but he doesn’t. He has good reasons.
Book 8, The Last Confederate, features Sky Winslow’s family after they move back to Virginia. The era is the Civil War. Thad Novak is the lead character. I really liked Thad. He kept bumbling his way along and finally he does some heroic things that make the reader’s heart dance.
Gilbert Winslow does keep appearing in each book by reference; he has a powerful impact through the generations. I intend to keep working on these books. The first one was free for e readers, and still is at this time of writing, then the second five books were $1.99, but now they are increasing in price to $4.99 so I will be borrowing as many as I can in large print or audio. My goal is to be a finisher. The books all feature Christian values, feature persons from our nation’s history, and make people and places come alive. Entwined in each book is a love story that is always above reproach but with its own set of twists and turns..
Perhaps this has whet the appetite of those of you who also are fans of historical fiction. You may want to research this author for some four or six book series he had on other eras of history. At some point, I’ll do the same as I have done here and write about another string of books in this forty-book series. It will take a while.