Review: The Primrose Way by Jackie French Koller

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 21st May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Dramatic Fiction

Koller's work of historical fiction took me by surprise. It is well researched and engaging. Issues of the colonial era are still being debated today, and eternal salvation is a hot topic. I read this book looking for escape from modern times, and instead found myself in the thick of today's heated debate.


A young missionary woman leaves England for the New World intending to save savages and rejoin her father. We learn early on that she has not had a typical Puritan upbringing. We know she worries about butting heads with elders.

Who can be surprised when she falls for a high ranking indian man? At first, she believes he is using Satanic powers on her. However, as she becomes interpreter between her village and his, she starts to wonder which group of people is really savage.

Her decision to leave the man she loves and return to England so as not to further harm his people is a noble sacrifice, indeed. The final plot twist will please most readers, while leading others to think in terms of a sequel.


As I alluded in the article summary, I picked up this book to escape reality. My state is in the middle of a huge legal battle regarding marriage. The only works of JFK I had read in the past were light fantasies about dragons. Since I was headed across country for a funeral, I deserved some escape.

Oh! Oh! Oh! Not to be! Puritannical society followed me into fiction and held me there. The plucky young heroine's admittedly unusual upbringing told me she would have some grand scale adventures. I was imagining a tale along the lines of Disney's Pocahontas. I wasn't totally wrong, but this is not that story, either -- not in the way that some romances are interchangeable.

I loved the idea of competing definitions of savage in this book. When the Puritans tell the girl that they believe the men of this tribe to be womanly ( they were using that term in lieu of homosexual), I nearly lost my composure. Of course, I have written before about adults teaching girls that boys do not have self - control over their sexuality. To see another author so artfully create that complete lack of thinking just humbled me.

Marriage and Rights

Very few couples comparatively speaking have perfect relationships blessed and supported by both sets of parents. Most marriages I know (including my own) would not have been possible if our parents had been able to vote away our right to marry.

Through the research presented in JFK's book, readers learn that Puritan/savage marriages were deemed illegal. She points out that without a number of those romantic involvements occurring, there would have been no point in adding that law.

I have no idea whether JFK supports marriage as it is being debated across the US and in my home state. However, just as her brave characters faced adversity doing what they thought was best, so to do couples of today face these challenges. I hope they can do so with the well - thought-out grace and conviction of JFK's plucky heroine. However, should a reader be a person wishing to return to a more Puritannical way of life, I would not recommend this book. In fact, the only thing such a person should be reading is scripture, and then only if male. Females should demurely request to be educated when it benefits the man they are with. Meanwhile, I will be willfully devouring books of my choosing.

Other Books I've Reviewed

Here are some other books I have reviewed:

When the Lights Go Up
Almost Magic
This is Not About the Money
The Magic Wakes
Ties that Bind, Ties that Break; April and the Dragon Lady
Every Boy's Got One

For a more complete list of my articles, follow this link to Phyl Campbell. Also, please check out my new webpage.

For the first time, I am submitting an article via Smartphone, as my laptop is no longer fit for the task. Do you notice a difference? I worry about mistakes I can't see on this screen, but overall have had a better experience and I hope you do, too!


Indians, Jackie French Koller, Love, New World, Puritans, Roger Williams, Romance, Salvation, Values

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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author avatar Feisty
22nd May 2014 (#)

If "The Primrose Way" is written with the same delightful clarity as your review of it, it sounds like a winner.

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author avatar WOGIAM
22nd May 2014 (#)

I enjoy reading so I would note this title and see if I can get it from my local library to borrow.
I agree with Feisty, your review does makes me curious to read the book.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd May 2014 (#)

Thanks to you both!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
25th May 2014 (#)

Times are changing and an inclusive society should be on the agenda. Thanks for this review and your take on the subject, Phyl - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th May 2014 (#)

Thanks, Siva!

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author avatar Kingwell
27th May 2014 (#)


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author avatar Phyl Campbell
27th May 2014 (#)


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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
28th May 2014 (#)

Wonderful post as well review, I learn every time I read one of your posts, thanks for being a mentor, ups did I said that!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
28th May 2014 (#)

Fern you make me smile! Thank you!

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author avatar Ptrikha
6th Jun 2014 (#)

Great book review, and nice use of the video.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
7th Jun 2014 (#)

Thanks, Ptrikha!

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