Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#2: The Bastard (John Jakes)

on January 26, 2014

In eighth grade, I completed an independent study in American history. It was in that class that I was first introduced to John Jakes’ epic Kent Family Chronicles. Although I was too young to tackle the series at that age, I was intrigued with the concept of a series of novels that traced an American family from the colonial era through the nation’s Bicentennial. As I began my new year of reading, I decided that 2014 was the year to complete the eight volume saga.

The Bastard, the first volume in the Kent Family Chronicles, introduces the reader to Phillipe Charboneau.  Phillipe is the illegitimate son of a wealthy English lord. As Phillipe attempts to claim his rightful inheritance, he faces immense struggle and becomes intrigued with the opportunities to start a new life in the American colonies. After discussing the possibilities with an eccentric Benjamin Franklin, the Bastard chases his dreams of fortune, sails the seas for America, and reinvents himself as Phillip Kent.  Phillip quickly becomes involved with the colonists’ fight for liberty and finds himself at the Boston Tea Party and at the early shots of the Revolutionary War. The book is flecked with historical references and figures such as John Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock. Beautifully written, The Bastard easily swept me into the American story and I look forward to beginning the next volume in the near future.

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