Travel back in time to the Ohio-Kentucky frontier in 1774 as it pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts and meet Clare, who is determined to emerge from the wilderness with her children, in Lori Benton’s new book, Many Sparrows. Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, her son’s life might not be the only one at stake. Can a stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them? Read our story spotlight with Lori to learn more!
Character Interview with Clare Margaret Inglesby
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I’ve never thought of myself as exceptional, but sometimes we are put into exceptional circumstances that test us, circumstances we would never enter into willingly, could we have but chosen. I crossed the mountains of Virginia Colony in the spring of 1774 with my husband and young son, Jacob, when I was eight months along with our second child. Rather I should say I tried to cross those mountains. My husband, Philip, died in the attempt, and my sweet Jacob was captured by Shawnee Indians. To top it all off, my second babe came early. But God sent me help in my time of need, a frontiersman by the name of Jeremiah Ring. Although it took time for my wounded heart to see him as anything other than another man put on this earth to hinder me.
I am a mother. I was a wife. I have been a pampered physician’s daughter. I have been a penniless farmer’s wife. I have lived as a Shawnee Indian. I would say I have been well occupied!
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Stubborn, alas! Courageous (especially when it comes to my children’s wellbeing). Broken.
What do you do for fun?
Fun is a word foreign to me. Fun is a thing I hope to have again one day. For now, I am getting through this trial my life has become day by day. But I will say there are moments when I look into my baby girl’s eyes and believe that fun will be a reality for me again. One day.
Share a favorite childhood memory:
I recall my delight sitting by the parlor fire of an evening, hearing the tales of adventure my Uncle Alphus Litchfield, Papa’s younger brother, used to tell when he came back east to visit. He was a long-hunter on the Virginia frontier and fought in the war against the French with General Braddock. As a girl, Uncle Alphus seemed the most romantic figure to me, dashing, adventurous, undaunted by bear, Indian, wilderness, or war. Even now he is the one I’d turn to for help . . . if only he knew where I was.
What is your life motto or goal?
My goal is to leave this wilderness into which I’ve ventured (not undaunted like Uncle Alphus, I may add) with both of my children safe in my arms. That is goal enough for me to live for. But Jeremiah Ring tells me I must look higher and farther than that. That God might have something more in mind, a plan bigger than my own concerns. Honestly, I am not sure I’m brave enough to lift my head that high, just now. Did I call myself courageous? Perhaps not in the ways that matter most . . . .
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Oh, that I would have a more teachable heart, that I would be quicker to submit myself to the wisdom of my Heavenly Father and those He has placed on this earth to be my help, and not stubbornly insist upon my own way, my own understanding of how things ought to unfold!
NOT Yellow Jacket Soup, that is for certain! I fancy a nice fresh tea cake stuffed with currants and almonds. Crave them, actually. Will I ever taste one again?
What is the most important thing to you?
My children and their safety.
Biggest pet peeve:
Men who make promises and do not keep them. Or perhaps it is more honest to say it is my own propensity to trust such promises despite the many breakings of them I have endured. One might think a body would learn there is only one Man, Christ Jesus, who is able to keep the promises He makes. And maybe . . . just maybe, Jeremiah Ring—but I will wait and see about him.
Snapshots of Lori’s Work-in-Progress
My desk during the writing of a book; notes and scraps of paper everywhere! And earplugs. I can’t seem to get deep enough into the story unless I block out street noise, the sounds of my dog sighing, the fridge running, and even the sound of my fingers on the keys.
Most of the research for the book I’m writing now. I like to keep them handy! They’ll sit out until I begin writing the next book, then I shelve them again and haul out a new set.
Some book spine clues to the story’s settings from my research. Where do you think my next book will be set? Can you spot more than one place? Can you guess the time period? 1700s of course, but which decade?