Set in seventeenth-century New England, Hope Leslie (1827) portrays early American life and celebrates the role of women in building the republic. A counterpoint to the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, it challenges the conventional view of Indians, tackles interracial marriage and cross-cultural friendship, and claims for women their rightful place in history. At the center of the novel are two friends. Hope Leslie, a spirited thinker in a repressive Puritan society, fights for justice for the Indians and asserts the independence of women. Magawisca, the passionate daughter of a Pequot chief, braves her father's wrath to save a white man and risks her freedom to reunite Hope with her long-lost sister, captured as a child by the Pequots and now married to Magawisca's brother. Amply plotted, with unforgettable characters, Hope Leslie is a rich, compelling, deeply satisfying novel.
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