Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki

"I feel strange inside sometimes. I feel different from the new children here. I even feel different from Caleb at times. I think it is because only those of us who lived here truly know how it was this past winter. We care about different things now, important things."
Elizabeth Barker[2]

Season of Promise: Elizabeth's Diary, Book Three is the final book in the My America series to feature Elizabeth Barker as the heroine. The book was written by Patricia Hermes. It was published in November 2002 and was preceded by The Starving Time in May 2001.

Elizabeth sees happier times in the Jamestown colony, after the previous harsh winter, known as the Starving Time.


"For Elizabeth Mary Nastu"

Book description[]

"Jamestown, Virginia, 1610
Elizabeth's story continues...

In Book One, Lizzie and her family settle in the Jamestown Colony.
In Book Two, Lizzie and the settlers struggle through a harsh winter of starvation.
Now, Lizzie meets new challenges, even as hard times give way to happier ones.


Ten-year-old, Elizabeth Barker survived the harsh winter in the Jamestown colony and begins her third diary in August 1610. She lives in a simple house with her father, twin brother Caleb, and baby sister Abigail, after the death of her mother. The colony's new leader, Lord Delaware decrees that "girls may no longer work alongside the men," which angers Elizabeth. Her father sends her to Mistress Bartlett's to sew and cook instead.

At Mistress Bartlett's, Elizabeth works with her good friends Mary Dobson and Temperance Flowerdew, but still detests stitchery. One day, Lord Delaware posts new rules with severe punishments. Not long after, Elizabeth runs into Lord Delaware, knocking him off his feet. That September, Lord Delaware invites Elizabeth to visit him. However, instead of the punishment she expects, he gives her praise for her bravery during the starving time.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth takes Abigail to Mistress Whistler's to nurse every morning. She suspects that Mistress Whistler wants to marry her father, when she gives Elizabeth a message for him. Elizabeth waits many days to give her father the message. Her father seems happier over the next few weeks and eventually asks his children about him marrying Mistress Whistler. Elizabeth gives her blessing and her father is engaged to Mistress Whistler the following day.

Elizabeth is invited back to Lord Delaware's home. This time, she speaks her mind and convinces him to commute one of his cruel punishments. Wedding preparations go on for the next few weeks, until her father and Mistress Whistler exchange vows on November 1, 1610. Elizabeth writes less and less as a new winter begins. In the new year, she writes about future hopes and dreams for herself and her growing family.

Historical Note[]

The colony of Jamestown nearly disappeared in the winter of 1610. Hundreds of colonists died of starvation and disease during what became known as the "Starving Time." Many of the remaining settlers desired to leave when supply ships from Bermuda finally arrived. However, the ships turned back at the arrival of Lord de La Warre and his ships from England. Jamestown began to thrive but life under Lord de La Warre was harsh. Their next governors were George Percy and Thomas Dale, whom also had "harsh temperaments." Nevertheless, Jamestown continued to thrive for many years. In 1619, the House of Burgesses convened for the first time at Jamestown.


Main article: List of characters in Elizabeth's Diaries
  • Elizabeth Barker, a ten-year-old settler, living in Jamestown with her father and siblings. After the harshness of the first year, encounters happiness once again.
  • Mary Dobson is Elizabeth's best friend, who went through the pain of the previous year with her. Despite their age difference, they get along well.


Main article: Patricia Hermes

Patricia Hermes was an American author whom wrote over fifty books for children and young adults. Hermes is the author of six books in the My America series, including Our Strange New Land, The Starving Time, Westward to Home, A Perfect Place, and The Wild Year.

Shared continuity[]

Season of Promise concludes a trilogy featuring the character, Elizabeth. It directly follows the narrative established in the previous book, The Starving Time (2001). The trilogy began with Our Strange New Land in 2000.


  • The portrait on the cover was illustrated by Glenn Harrington, whom illustrated several My America books.[3]


See also[]

External links[]