Cherokee America

by Verble, Margaret,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 14 Libraries 14 of 14 copies
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From Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble, a multilayered, wholly original epic of the American frontier

A baby, a black hired hand, a bay horse, a gun, and a neighbor have all gone missing in the same corner of the Cherokee Nation West. Cherokee America Singer, known as Check, is none too pleased with these developments. As a wealthy farmer, the mother of five boys, and the matriarch of her family, she's accustomed to wielding authority. And she's determined to find out what's going on.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, complex alliances and simmering race and culture clashes unite and divide the people living on Cherokee lands. Tensions mount and violence escalates, and the long arm of white law encroaches further into Indian Territory. Determined to survive and thrive on their own terms after decades of betrayal and hardship, Check's family, friends, and neighbors must come together to avenge a crime, outwit federal authorities, and protect their sovereignty.

Inspired by Margaret Verble's family history and written with dry humor and a lot of heart, Cherokee America is a different kind of Western, one told from a Native American point of view and with a mixed-race woman at its center. Check--member of a distinguished Cherokee family, daughter of a famous soldier and a slaveholder, wife of an abolitionist--is a necessary, revelatory addition to the literature of the American frontier.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Cherokee Check America Singer is a middle-aged, half-white, half-Cherokee woman raising her five children as white in the Cherokee Nation West (present-day Oklahoma) in 1875. Heredity and wealth allow this and, augmented by Check's intelligence, combine to make her a powerful woman. Her network of relatives and relationships includes Cherokee, white, and freed Black people and extends across two states. The novel has many characters with whom Check interacts throughout her day, and there is not a single stereotype among them. Through Check's eyes, her dozens of friends and neighbors convey a story, a memory, or a dilemma that activates an appropriate or necessary reaction from her some of which may change lives. Then, in a mystery told in several layers, a girl is kidnapped and a man is killed. Although Check is the last to know what really happened, her courage tells us everything we need to know about this wise woman. This complicated, engrossing story of the post-Civil War West is a prequel to Verble's Pulitzer Prize finalist, Maud's Line (2016), but stands on its own.--Jeanne Greene Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "At the heart of Verble's excellent second novel, following Pulitzer Prize finalist Maud's Line, is a woman named Cherokee America Singer, aka Check. Check is a Cherokee, prosperous landowner, widow, and mother of five sons struggling to keep her family together amid the conflicts between natives and whites in the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in 1875. This is a dangerous time for the Cherokee-outlaws are invading their territory, rumors of hidden gold attract unwelcome attention, and a federal judge uses a murder to try to impose federal law on protected Native land. The murder victim is Cherokee and the killers are white, complicating the question of jurisdiction. In an effort to protect Cherokee sovereignty, Check, the townspeople, and the sheriff deceive the investigating U.S. marshals to save an innocent man from arrest. However, when the investigation reaches Check's doorstep, she must take matters into her own hands to try to save her family. In Verble's hands, this tale of a mother's love and her gritty resolve in a shameful era of false promises and broken treaties makes for a rich, propulsive novel. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Cherokee Indians -- History -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Cherokee women -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Epic fiction.
Publisher Boston :Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,2019
Language English
Description vii, 385 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 383-384).
ISBN 9781328494221
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