In Family Traits, author Scott Skipper writes a chronicle based on his own family history. He narrates the story of John, Francis and George Skipper along with cousin William Skipper's jour-ney to America. Using the true historical records as a base, he tells how three generations of Skippers dealt with the rawness of colonial Virginia in the 1600's.
Scott's narrative is interspersed with fiction to relate how it might have been for them. Some of that fiction is dramatic run-ins with the law and the Native American tribes in which they be-came involved to the extent of taking Indian wives.
According to Scott, the family traits written are the promiscuity and the prominent noses. As John Skipper's wife put it when introduced to cousin William: "It's easy to see you're related. It's as plain as the nose on your face."
The Skippers take up making rum to supplement their farm income which is practically non-existent. George goes to live with a Native American tribe so he can make rum and whiskey without the sheriff looking over his shoulder. He still manages to get into trouble both with the Indians and the colonial law enforcement. He takes a wife who is half white and begins a family but still can't stay out of trouble.
George Jr. and George III follow in his footsteps. Much of their trouble with the law is due to the common corruption involving the colonial government, not just in their treatment of the Skipper brothers but in their deceptive practices in dealing with the Native Americans.
A sequel of Family traits will be In The Blood that takes place in the nineteenth century. Scott has successfully taken the true historical records and tied them together with chains of dramatic fiction.
The work takes the Skipper family up to the colonial alienation to England because of the burdensome taxes imposed by England. The book is full of the adventures of the frontier as well as giving a look through the window of history. An interesting book that will keep the reader looking forward to the next page; the next chapter.
By Ruth Ann Hixson, freelance reviewer
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)