I ended up checking out this book because I was hoping to get to know the town in which I am working better. Balfour has created a really nice overview of the history of the town, including information about some of the important residents, the details about each of the villages, and some really incredible photographs.
I do have to admit that I knew surprisingly little about Cumberland, and reading through this title really did an amazing job of connecting me to its past. It was amazing to know how many firsts were tied to this community, including the fact that the first European to settle in the state came here, rather than the well-known Roger Williams who was actually considered the founder of the state after leaving Massachusetts Bay Colony. Like Williams, Blackstone left the previous colony because of differences with the church and leadership up north, but he did not request a formal charter or purchase property from the local natives. Instead, he just found a place he liked and settled down.
The narrative flows really nicely, and the many, many pictures add so much to it. While not all of the pictures are laid out in a way that places them close to the text to which they are connected, the result is very informative and entertaining.
I have heard there are some errors in the book, but overall I thought it was a great way to get to know the town.