“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”
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Abandoned Dutch woman survives in 17th Century American wilderness
With a little help from her new friends, Penelope Van Princis overcomes savage violence and builds a new life.
Roscoe, IL. – Listen for the Lark is a story of love, compassion, and survival in the American wilderness. It is the authors’ imaginative story of Penelope Van Princis as she lives through the suspenseful drama of her first nine months in the New World. Penelope, a remarkable woman, helped establish the country we love today.
Penelope Van Princis, a real life heroine, immigrated to New Amsterdam from the Netherlands in 1643, filled with the promises of the New World. Shipwrecked off the coast of New Jersey, she loses everything she owns and everyone she loves to an attack from Maqua Indians only hours after she has reached land, leaving her emotionally and physically scarred. Having been left for dead, she survives until the Sanhicans of the Delaware Indians befriend her and nurse her back to health.
While among these compassionate, native people, Penelope confronts her fears, accepts her husband’s death, and naively participates in their rituals, while creating a new life in a wilderness that is not always fair. Because of the attack, the fear of carrying a Maqua child haunts her after two people from Fort Amsterdam accuse her of carrying a bastard. When the dangers of the wilderness push her to the edge, even the caring and thoughtful Sanhican cannot comfort her. Since her life is in constant danger, she questions God’s love and doubts her purpose in the universe.
Pursued by two very different men while still grieving for her murdered husband, Penelope walks a fine line while trying to protect her unborn child. Both men have lost their wives, but while Richard wants to build a life with Penelope, Hornwyck wants to possess and control her.
As if she didn’t have enough problems in her life, Penelope has to protect three runaway slaves and a Jesuit priest who have joined her in the Sanhican community because living at Fort Amsterdam was too dangerous.
In 2005 James and Marion Applegate published their first novel Symphony of Spirits. Their second novel, Listen for the Lark, continues their goal of writing historical fiction based on their heritage.