A sixth-generation North Carolinian, highly-acclaimed author John Ehle grew up on former Cherokee hunting grounds. His experience as an accomplished novelist, combined with his extensive, meticulous research, culminates in this moving tragedy rich with historical detail. The Cherokee are a proud, ancient civilization. For hundreds of years they believed themselves to be the "Principle People" residing at the center of the earth. But by the 18th century some of their leaders believed it was necessary to adapt to European ways in order to survive. Those chiefs sealed the fate of their tribes in 1875 when they signed a treaty relinquishing their land east of the Mississippi in return for promises of wealth and better land. The U.S. government used the treaty to justify the eviction of the Cherokee nation in an exodus that the Cherokee will forever remember as the "trail where they cried." John McDonough narrates with thoughtful gravity. The heroism and nobility of the Cherokee shine through this intricate story of American politics, ambition, and greed.
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"The narrator's voice, deep and sandpaper-like, establishes an empathy with the fictional and non-fictional characters in this historical novel about the Cherokee Nation. Although there is no attempt made at characterization, McDonough creates a feeling for the personalities with his mood, tones, and cadence. His somber and respectful rendition of the poetic passages beautifully magnifies the author's intended effect far beyond the ability of a printed page. Since the novel's story is so secondary to the history presented, and since the sad and embarrassing truth is so important, the frivolity and license a gifted and experienced actor such as this narrator might have taken are judiciously avoided with laudable effect. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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