The Historical Novels Review Online (a service of the Historical Novel Society) has just published a review by Wisteria Leigh. The complete review can be found at the Review (http://historicalnovelsociety.org/hnr-online.htm) and at Wisteria Leigh’s blog for February 15, where you can find a cornucopia of information, reviews, conversation, interviews, and book suggestions. Here are a few excerpts from her review.
“The theme is about the connectivity we have to our world and how the earth binds us to each other. …”
“The author’s strength is his subtle symbolism threaded throughout, beginning with his choice of title, Red Clay, Blood River. He has planned his flow of symbols to show connections between people. The character of Thembinkosi is enchanting and regal, yet a slave, who withstood so much and complained so little. Her strength, beauty, and soul out-shined all others…”
“It is a story of inspiration, love, romance, and hope with a message given that deep relationships can form with others when we eliminate the lines, borders, and walls that prevent connections.”
Yes, Wisteria, thanks for your response and further comment on the evolution of slavery among the Cherokee. The full story is in Theda Perdue, Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society 1540-1866 (University of Tennessee Press, 19790 and Rudi Halliburton, Jr., Red Over Black: Black Slavery Among the Cherokee Indians (Westport: Greenwood, 1977). Rifts over slavery persist to this day, leading most recently to the vote in the Cherokee Nation (now contested in court) to remove Cherokee citizenship from the descendants of slaves who were earlier granted citizenship. This is a briar patch I may never climb out of!
I’m amazed that you have time for teaching and all the reading and reviewing you do!
Stay in touch and on line.
In the net,
Hi William, I was so surprised to see that you had such a nice post about my blog and the review on your blog. Thank you so much. It is awesome to actually talk— email to you. It is ironic that I would review this book as my grad class was just discussing Thomas Jefferson. One particular essay spoke of his attempt at domesticating the Indian culture by teaching spinning to the women and placing the men in the fields. It was then that the Indians decided it was better to have a slave do the work of a woman than have to do woman’s work. The plan back-fired and slavery became a part of the Cherokee and other Indian groups.
Please feel free to email me. I thank you again for the post and happy you like the review of your wonderful book. …Wisteria