The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler

The Secret Token

A sweeping account of a four-hundred-year-old mystery, the archeologists racing to unearth the answer, and what the Lost Colony reveals about America--from colonial days to todayIn 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived on Roanoke, an island off the coast of North Carolina. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, their colony was to establish a foothold for England in the New World. But by the time the colony's leader, John White, returned to Roanoke...

Details The Secret Token

TitleThe Secret Token
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History, Mystery, Historical

Reviews The Secret Token

  • Matt
    “At dawn, [Governor John] White and some of the party climbed up the steep bank. It was the third birthday of his granddaughter Virginia Dare, named for the new land and the first English child born in the Americas. No one appeared, but they were not alone. The men spotted fresh tracks of Native Americans in the sand. Soon after, along the sandy bank on the north shore, White saw the letters C R O carved into a tree…This was a prearranged cod...
  • Nancy Oakes
    As much as I enjoyed this book, it needs a home. If you're in the US and you want it, it's yours and I'll pay postage. Just let me know. am fascinated by mystery stories, and they don't have to be fictional to capture my interest. This goes back to my childhood when I would read anything and everything, fiction and nonfiction alike. Fictional mysteries are the heart and soul of my reading life, but "real"...
  • Geoffrey
    (Note: I received an advanced electronic copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley)Due to my being born and raised a New Englander, my education on the "founding" of America focused quite heavily on Pilgrims and Puritans. The Roanoke Colony was nothing more than the briefest of mentions in textbooks about Sir Walter Raleigh, a few folks vanishing, and a strange place name carved onto a tree. So to put it bluntly, until now I had absolutely no idea ...
  • Susan (the other Susan)
    Fascinating product of determined journalism. The so-called "Lost Colony" is a romantic legend that enabled white supremacists - as early as the mid-1800s - to deny the likelihood that survivors among the abandoned Roanoke colonists intermingled with Native Americans and later with Africans who took refuge among the coastal tribes. They weren't lost; they just chose to survive in a way that was ideologically unacceptable.
  • Graham
    I admit to knowing nothing about the subject matter before I read this, but then sometimes that's the best way. THE SECRET TOKEN is a non-fiction documentation of the 'Lost Colony' legend of Roanoke; namely a group of Elizabethan settlers who vanished from Roanoke island in the three-year period it took British explorers to return to the area. The book is very much set up as providing answers to this enduring mystery, but I found it disappointing...
  • Amanda Roa
    A historical page turner. Looking back at the complex story of The Lost Colony was riveting. I was only vaguely aware of the story until this book. Well written, well researched and thoroughly reviewed from all angles, I would recommend this account of early American history to anyone interested in how those early days shaped our American society. The chapter on Virginia Dare and how various groups have romanticized her and used her as an iconic ...
  • KC
    This is the telling of the colonists of Roanoke Island who in 1587 sailed from England to the coast of North Carolina but mystery surrounds this story. All 115 men, women and children were never to be seen or heard from again. A through account divvied up into three section, author Andrew Lawler dives deep into the history of his childhood fascination that surrounds the Lost Colony. An extremely interesting topic that is still very relevant today...
  • Daniel Greear
    America's oldest mystery is the Roanoke Colony disappearance. For a long time, many have been entranced by what happened to 115 odd English settlers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the 1580s. I became obsessed with the disappearance after I saw the outdoor drama when I was a kid. The Lost Colony has long sat in the back of my mind but this book, along with the recent revelation that the Dare Stone may be authentic, has reignited my intere...
  • Ionia
    When I first saw this book, I thought..."Oh. Another Roanoke book." To my surprise and delight, this is anything but 'just another Roanoke book.' The incredible amount of research and detail that went into this book is obvious from the moment you begin reading it. Rather than just diving straight into the mystery of the missing colony as so many authors have done before, this author carefully examines what happened, how it all started and explain...
  • Chris
    Quick note about the audio book - the word shards is pronounced a little strangely. Or I've always been saying it incorrectly.Lawler's book is a wonderful and detailed look at not only the history of Roanoke (and he does a theory weigh in) but also on why the Lost Colony has taken on such importance at various times in America. What you get are the facts, then how people played with the facts. Its all rather interesting, and considering today's p...
  • Patrick Pope
    Excellent discussion of the search for the Lost Colony from 1500’s to present with a discussion of how our ideas have changed, concluding with a logical explanation. A short article by the author based on the book was in National Geographic Magazine June 2018.
  • Eric
    If you like true mysteries, conspiracy theories, or adventures, this book will hit your buttons. It's a real page turner, and it's well enough researched and thought out to give some interesting and thought provoking insights into American attitudes concerning racial integration, mixing & melding, and how they have changed over the centuries. I'll recommend this book to many friends.
  • Carolyn Thomas
    "To die is tragic, but to go missing is to become a legend, a mystery."Will we ever know what really happened to the 85 men, 17 women and 13 children of the "lost colony" over 400 years ago? After great length the conclusion that this author reaches is - probably not, but there are plenty of fantastic theories. As Andrew Lawler says, "There simply aren't enough facts to get in the way of a good story ."What we do know is as follows. In 1587 John ...
  • Alethea
    I saw this book on the shelves of a bookstore on Ocracoke Island. I've always had a fascination with the story of the Lost Colony. This was the first time, however, that I read something about the colonists that sought to explain their disappearance, and it was refreshing to see that Lawler approached the topic without resorting to the hackneyed elements of ghosts and ghouls spiriting them away. I grew up going to North Carolina each summer; I st...
  • Casey Wheeler
    I received a free Kindle copy of The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler courtesy of Net Galley  and Doubleday Books, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.I requested this book as all I really know about the lost colony of Roanoke is antidotal and I have never r...
  • Shellie Taylor
    I have always had a soft spot when it comes to the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. I mean, who doesn't like a good mystery?? Historically the oldest unsolved mystery in American history, the Roanoke colony of English settlers that arrived off the North Carolina coast in 1587 disappeared and was never heard from again. When Governor John White went back on a resupply mission in 1590 his family and fellow countrymen were nowhere to be found....
  • Casey Wheeler
    I received a free Kindle copy of The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler courtesy of Net Galley  and Doubleday Books, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.I requested this book as all I really know about the lost colony of Roanoke is antidotal and I have never r...
  • Buck Edwards
    In 'The Secret Token', Andrew Lawler takes us on the scenic route--no short cuts, just every dead end in the search for concrete evidence, but oh, what a ride. Four centuries of characters appearing and reappearing, with theories, hunches, and swamps of trinkets left as a trail. But a trail to what? To Lawler's five possibilities.More, it is the refreshing realization, that after science has been exhausted, our imaginative hunches are not far off...
  • Caitie
    The Lost Colony of Roanoke has always fascinated me. It’s amazing how a group of people could just vanish off the face of the earth. Obviously there are theories about what actually happened to them, they were either killed or assimilated with the local Indians (in recent years there have even been speculation that they were abducted by aliens). However there is no real evidence to prove any of these things. The colony has become a slightly biz...
  • Shaun
    I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.Going in, I knew next to nothing about the Lost Colony of Roanoke. After reading this, I feel I know just about everything there is to know. The book is impeccably researched and detailed. It felt like a mystery novel, with chapter endings that leave you hanging and wanting to see what Lawler dug up next. He gives a good overview of the Colony's inception, travel and...
  • Jean Mehochko
    Everything you ever wanted to know about the Lost Colony of Roanoke, from beginning to the very latest investigations, theories, and impact their voyage (and disappearance) has had on American culture and peoples. The author kept my attention to the very end.
  • J.M.
    Not having much luck lately. Couldn't get into this.
  • Sandra
    Incredibly well written and researched. I definitely recommend this for anyone who has even a passing interest in Roanoke.
  • Dree
    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a galley of this book.This sweeping narrative history looks at the leadup to the Roanoke Colony and Raleigh's rise in England, to the establishment of the colony, to the search by Gov John White after he returned to England, right up to the different theories and searches and theories into the 21st century.Lawler covers a lot of time, though he explains that after the original search and the establishm...
  • Karen
    Fabulous! The author takes you on his search in an attempt to untangle the mystery of what happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. He looks at the history of the Colony, theories of other historians, hoaxes, and experts on related subjects. Excellent and occasionally humorous writing. Loved it!!
  • Tina
    Here's an ongoing mystery without much solid data. At times, drowning in details, but many stories I'd never heard of like those of Virginia Dare.
  • Eve
    This was a well written and comprehensive history of the Roanoke colony and the search for it. It provides extensive background information on colonialism and the search.
  • ImLisaAnn
    I received a digital ARC of this book from Doubleday on NetGalley. I’m grateful to Doubleday for their generosity and am happy to post this honest review. All opinions are my own.SynopsisIn 1587, 115 British citizens come to colonize America disappeared from Roanoke Island, leaving behind almost no traces, except for the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree. In the four hundred-plus years since, little has been discovered to explain where the...
  • Julius McCarter
    Andrew Lawler's The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke is an exquisitely depressing to read. It's depressing to see that -- after all this time -- the tensions between popular and academic history remain so abrasive and dismissive. Conspiracy historians abound and tend to dismiss academic ones. Academic ones merely roll their eyes at genuine amateur historians (who perform their craft out of the sheer lov...
  • Rebecca
    It is rare that a work of nonfiction has both readable/engaging prose and is thoroughly backed with scholarly research. Lawler's book has both, and is organized in a way that adds interest and keeps you reading. I respect that Lawler digs deep into modern (and historical) theories about what may have happened to the Lost Colony, rather than just accepting what others have concluded. I also liked that the publisher went to the expense of inserting...