* Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier (2006)

Book review: The narrator of this novel, Will Thomas, is in his 90’s and has spent most of his life living among the Cherokee.  Timeframe is about mid 1800’s, before, during, and after the Civil War as well as before, during, and after the Cherokee removal.  This is quite the saga.  Frazier’s writing is very detailed, and at times I loved the imagery, but sometimes I wanted the story to move on a bit more quickly.  I think I liked the first third of the novel best: Will’s teenage years when his family essentially sells him into the service of a trading post owner where he is required to work for 7 years.  He ends up buying the post, expanding his business to a string of posts and then  numerous other businesses and land and spending the rest of his life among the Cherokee as friend, leader, and lawyer.  He is essentially one of them but is never of them.  Threaded throughout the story, and what in some ways holds the narrative together, is Will’s relationship with Claire whom he meets at age 12 but cannot marry because he is white and she is part Cherokee.  While the story is fiction, I enjoyed its historical aspects, especially the relationship between the Cherokee Nation and America and the various lifestyles and prosperity (or lack thereof) among the Cherokee.  This is a good–but long–read.  (fiction)

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