It begins with a killing. Ten years after the Mayflower struck shore on rocky, unfamiliar soil, Plymouth is not the land its residents had imagined. Seemingly established on a dream of religious freedom, the town is led by fervent Puritans who prevent the Anglican residents from worshiping as they choose. The Billingtons—Anglicans, outsiders, and rebels—have just about had enough, and that’s when a stranger arrives.
With gripping, immersive details and beautiful prose, TaraShea Nesbit reframes the story of the pilgrims in the historically under-recorded voices of two women of very different status and means. She evokes a vivid, ominous Plymouth, populated by famous and unknown characters alike, each with conflicting desires and questionable behavior. Suspenseful and literary, Beheld is about a murder and a trial; but it’s also about the motivations—personal and political—that cause people to act in unsavory ways.