The Mourning Wars (Hardcover)

By Karen Steinmetz

Roaring Brook Press, 9781596432901, 240pp.

Publication Date: August 31, 2010



Based on true events, THE MOURNING WARS is a gripping, powerful, and utterly memorable historical novel. In 1704, Mohawk Indians attacked the frontier village of Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 50 and kidnapping 112 more, including John Williams, a Puritan minister and prize hostage, and his children.

This is Eunice's remarkable story, fictionalized but based on meticulous research, about a seven-year-old girl's separation from her family, harrowing march to Canada, gradual acceptance of her new Native American life, and ultimate decision at 16 to marry an Indian and reject her stern father's pleadings to return to the fold.

About the Author

KAREN STEINMETZ lives in Grandview, New York. She now makes her authorial debut.

Praise For The Mourning Wars

"Eunice’s largely imagined life makes a fascinating story with a setting that is vividly and dramatically evoked." —Booklist 

[Steinmetz’s] leisurely paced narrative with its poetic attention to detail and insight into character may serve interested readers with a more contemporary and respectful perspective than older 'Indian Captive' stories.” —Kirkus Reviews


"Steinmetz's scrupulous research is apparent in her detailed account of Canienga customs as well as 'Queen Anne's War,' which pitted natives and the French against the English… This is a richly poetic, thoughtful book that offers an intimately imagined perspective on compelling historical events." —Publishers Weekly


"Steinmetz weaves Native language and culture with details about the Jesuits who lived with the Canienga and about the natural environment into the narrative…beautifully composed." —School Library Journal


"First-time author Steinmetz does a fine job of contrasting life in the Puritan and Canienga settlements through young Eunice’s eyes. Eunice’s subtle transformation into A’onote is superbly portrayed, and the author’s note sheds more light on the importance hostages played in the political machinations among the English, French, and Native Americans." —VOYA