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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Red Tears is a deeply involved work of historical fiction by author N.K. Parten. The story is paced as the run-up to a terrifying massacre, going some way to explain the particulars and history around the event and how it came to be that several hundred people, soldiers and civilians alike, suffered a terrible fate at the hands of a Creek Red Stick war party. In Mississippi, 1813, we meet Prudence Mims, the youngest daughter of the Mims family, who lives at what was dubbed ‘Fort Mims’, a plantation caught between the white Americans and the woodland Indian tribes who sought to cleanse themselves of any white influence. As tensions rise politically and locally, we follow the Mims family and poor Prudence to the moment where the war party attacks Fort Mims, bringing red tears down on the land.
This is a harrowing fictionalized exploration of the conflicts that went on and the conversations that led to such a horrifying event. N.K. Parten has certainly done much research on the subject from both sides of the fight, and lends a particular compassion and sympathy to the poor civilians stuck in the middle of it, particularly Samuel Mims who is simply trying to protect his family and keep his livelihood. The political and geographic factors leading to the conflict are well explained but not over explained, keeping the overall page count of the novel readable and enjoyable. Overall, Red Tears will certainly appeal to those who enjoy well-researched historical fiction, however grisly the truth of it may be.