Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lisa Carter: Beyond the Cherokee Trail

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

When Linden Birchfield arrives in the Snowbird Cherokee community to organize the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears, she runs head on—literally—into arrogant former army sniper Walker Crowe. A descendant of the Cherokee who evaded deportation by hiding in the rugged Snowbird Mountains, Walker believes no good can result from stirring up the animosity with the white Appalachian residents whose ancestors looted the tribal lands so long ago.

Though at odds over the commemoration, Linden and Walker must unite against an unseen threat to derail the festival. Together they face an enemy whose implacable hatred can be traced to the events of the Trail, a dark chapter in America’s westward expansion. When called to resurrect his sniper abilities, Walker must thwart the enemy who threatens the modern-day inhabitants of tiny Cartridge Cove—and targets the woman who has captured his heart.

My Thoughts:

I took an undergraduate course at the university and really loved reading books in the Native American Culture. I have found some new writers, such as Louise Edrich, Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, to add to my shelf. It was one of the hardest classes I took, besides Shakespeare, but Dr. Baker’s love for the Native American culture shone in her lectures.  This class has spurn my love of my heritage and using examples from the Native American culture in other classes. As a direct descendent of the Cherokee Indians, I was fascinated by reading and learning more about other tribes that formed our great nation.

I knew Lisa Carter had written a couple of other books that feature different Native American tribes, but my local library doesn’t have them, and I haven’t seen them anywhere to purchase them. When I found out Netgalley had her newest release up for grabs, I jumped at the chance to get a copy.

I enjoyed how Carter draws a connection to the famous Trial of Tears to the modern story. The story is told from two different perspectives. We have Sarah Jane’s who lived in 1838 and took the horrible journey with the Cherokee Indians, and Linden Birchfield who lives in the future. 2018 to be exact. Carter does a good job at intertwining the historical aspect with the modern story. I really enjoyed how Sarah Jane kept reminding Pierce that the Cherokee’s rituals to their god was really the same thing as modern Christians did to our God. I think a lot of people forget that aspect of the Cherokee’s culture.

While the conflict centers around the Cherokee’ removal, the story does have a number of love stories for the romance fans. There is a love story in the past between Sarah Jane and Pierce and Touch the Clouds and another woman. In the future story, Linden falls in love with a fallen sniper named Walker. There is no violence or sexual content, so the story is safe for fans of any age.

I had a couple of issues with the story. While the historical background was deeply researched, which is proven with the historical timeline, I wondered why Carter allowed the present part of the story to take place in 2018, which is three years from now. Why not just title it the present day? I’m sure Carter wanted to stay with the seventy years from the movement, but it was odd for me. Second, as an avid fan of Native American writings from someone on the inside of the Native American culture, this story did not really ring true to that genre. I could tell this story was written by someone on the outside looking into their culture and trying to tell a story about the past. Not that it ruined the story. It was different than what I was expecting.

I received a complimentary copy of Beyond the Cherokee Trail from Abingdon Press and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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