Carol J DeMars, author
"Whoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world and consequently the world itself," declared Sir Walter Raleigh in 1600. Penelope's Song examines the turbulent seventeenth century when the Dutch clashed with other empires on the open seas for those riches, and colonization of North America's Atlantic coast began in earnest. It was the golden age of the Netherlands, unique in their support for liberty of conscience, what we call freedom of religion. Why then would the vivacious niece of a wealthy Dutch merchant in Amsterdam hastily marry her father's brilliant student and sail to Nieuw Amsterdam, today's Manhattan, one of the least desirable outposts in all of the Dutch Empire? Why would Lady Deborah Moody flee her English country estate for Puritan Massachusetts and her son, Sir Henry Moody, become a cavalier of King Charles I? How did legendary New Jersey couple Richard and Penelope Stout get caught in the crosshairs of Dutch Director Willem Kieft's violent attack against innocent local indigenous villages inciting massive retaliation? Carol DeMars skillfully extracts the essence of her characters' struggles, fictional and real, to remind us the pursuit for the dignity of political and religious freedom is a perpetual task.