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Amanda M Cetas

Amanda M Cetas

Thrown to the Wind

A harrowing journey of strength, survival, and self-discovery.


Based on true events, this historical fiction novel follows one boy's journey from France and across the ocean to North America in the seventeenth century. In France, 1660, during a period of rising tensions between the Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots), nine-year old Etienne Gayneau, a Huguenot, is separated from his cousin and only friend Nicolas. But, when a ship arrives in La Rochelle transporting King Louis XIV's elite musketeers, Etienne agrees to meet Nicolas at the harbor to witness the event. Etienne dreams of becoming a musketeer himself one day, and senses he is about to witness something momentous. But he doesn’t realise that the arrival of the ship will turn his life upside down. Etienne must choose whether to flee France with his family, to avoid his father’s arrest for being a heretic, or to run away and hide out in a safe haven with his cousin, a Catholic. If Etienne leaves France, he will never see Nicolas again or fulfil his dream of becoming a musketeer, but if he stays with his cousin, he will never see his family again.


Etienne decides to flee, and leaves with his family, leaving everything but their faith behind. The family face a perilous journey, first to Amsterdam, Holland, and then across the Atlantic Ocean to New Amsterdam. The journey is fraught with many dangers, as they encounter criminals and pirates, and face many other challenges, including illness and injury. Etienne is quite literally thrown to the wind, but eventually gains confidence as a cabin boy.


Thrown to the Wind is a well-researched, historical fiction novel for middle grade readers, by author Amanda M Cetas. The story follows a family who flee religious persecution in seventeenth century France, and seek refuge and freedom in the unchartered territories of North America. Told through the eyes of an innocent nine-year old boy, this is a harrowing journey of strength, survival, and self-discovery. Beautifully written, with meticulous attention to detail, the author brings this fascinating period of human history to life. The authors ability to balance historical accuracy with a compelling narrative, makes this novel an entertaining and enlightening read.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and particularly those interested in seventeenth century migration from Europe to America


Star rating:  5 Stars


Summary: A beautiful coming of age story about a young boy who flees religious persecution, leaving everything behind but his faith.

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