The Last of the Mohicans
by James Fenimore Cooper
Kidnapping, adventures tramping through the woods, battles between Native American tribes, this book is full of adventure!
This is the most well-known book from Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales series. It’s set during the French and Indian War in 1757. Cora and Alice Munro, daughters of Lieutenant Colonel Munro, are being escorted through the forest in New York when they are kidnapped by members of the Huron tribe. The leader of the band is the vile and unrepentant Magua.
The Munro sisters’ protectors, including Major Duncan Heyward, Hawkeye, two Mohican Indians, Chingachgook and Uncas, and a singing teacher named David, attempt to rescue them. Their methods are clever, dressing as animals, even using David’s love of singing at one point! I also loved that there are quotes from Shakespeare throughout the text. He was so revered, even at a time when his plays weren’t readily available.
The book was published in 1826, but even back then there are so many mentions about the atrocities that were done to the Native Americans. There are fascinating parts that delve into the history of that time period, but much of the plot is spent with one group chasing another group through the woods. I’ll admit it became tedious after a while.
BOTTOM LINE: Wonderful historical information, but it stretched on and became repetitive.
p.s. Fans of the movie will probably be surprised by the number of major changes from book to screen.
Here’s another great review of the book by Fanda.