Reviews of Marooned

The Roanoke Times

Kelly has woven a tapestry that is woven so dense in detail and so richly colored that it may become a kind of Bayeux Tapestry of the history of Jamestown…. By the time Kelly finishes his “new history,” the tapestry shows complex new understanding of the story of the founding of English America.  Woven into this story is the foundation of our ancestors’ pattern of interactions with the people whose land they claimed in the name of a king the Indians had never seen.

Kirkus Reviews  Kirkus Star

An insightful re-examination of the 1607 Jamestown settlement, the story of which is beginning to replace the Mayflower’s as America’s founding myth. . . . Discovering seeds of democracy in Massachusetts’ zealots or Virginia’s autocratic patricians has never been easy, but Kelly’s lively, heavily researched, frequently gruesome account gives a slight nod to Jamestown as the “better place to look for the genesis of American ideals.”


Publishers Weekly 

America is the land of runaways from colonial tyranny, according to this stimulating history of Jamestown. . . . . Kelly sets this gripping narrative against an intelligent discussion of sociocultural context, ranging from political philosophy to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. . . . [H]e paints a superb portrait of the founding, combining brilliant detail with epic sweep.

Amazon Vine Reviews  

[These reviews are particularly gratifying, because they come directly from the audience I’m hoping to reach]

As a devoted reader of American history, I am familiar with most of the books cited by the author, and consider myself a thoughtful person, of course. Then Marooned comes into my sight–and I am blown away. The author brings perception, sources, and a vivid writing style to bear on the topic and does not let up. All the previous stuff has assigned Native Americans walk-on parts, at best. Well, get ready, with nearly five hundred pages we get breadth and depth, both, and juicy parts for everybody–not just the gentlemen.

Since this happens to be the first review posted on Amazon, I want to do justice. However. ., my reviewing style tends to be brief. I am thankful the author was not brief with Marooned. This one moves to the front of its shelf, and I feel so gratified to get my hands on an early copy. As a Vine reviewer, I am serious about offering unsolicited and unbiased opinions.