Bittersweet Freedom in a Far Land (Tuckaseegee Chronicles, #1) by Betty Cloer Wallace

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Betty Cloer Wallace
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Book review

From Publishers Weekly____
“Set in the American colonies in 1750, this is a tale of discovery, acceptance, war, love, and cultural awareness. A realistic historical piece, this novel is fraught with danger and heartbreak, but buoyed by romance and the hope for survival into future generations. A meticulously researched, exhaustive look at the uneasy coexistence of early settlers and native populations, the novel fully immerses the reader in a foreign world. Historical fiction buffs especially will want to know what happens to the MacNeills and the Cherokees in the next installment. The prose is flawless and the characters are robust and believable. Impressive.”

On a humid day in July, 1750, the MacNeills arrive in the port of Charles Town, English Colony of South Carolina, and begin a long journey up a trading path into the mountains of the Cherokee Nation. Along the way, they witness an auction of African slaves; daughter Mairy is intrigued by a waysider dance hall girl and lively music; and Elspeth, pregnant and despondent, declares that America in not a land to love but insists on keeping a surprising “gift of love” found hidden in their wagon. The smoky blue Cherokee Mountains, both beautiful and terrifying, are unlike anything the MacNeills have ever seen before; Elspeth gives birth to a child, Elijah Og, born with a caul and “haint blue” eyes, a sure sign he has inherited the Celtic “second sight” (both blessing and curse) of his mother’s Nordic ancestors; and Ruary questions his own judgment in bring his beloved family into such a wilderness.

__Devastated by Scotland’s failed uprising against England in 1745, exiled highland warrior Ruary MacNeill transports his wife Elspeth, two children, and three orphaned nephews to America to operate a trading post and horse-breeding enterprise in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Southern Appalachian heartland of the large and powerful Cherokee Nation.
__Set in America’s first frontier during the French and Indian War, the TUCKASEEGEE CHRONICLES (1750-1764) is a long series of short novels, a multigenerational saga following the Scottish MacNeills as they interact with the Cherokee during a time of political upheaval when the Cherokee Nation is at war with other Indian tribes and has become a pawn in the conflict between England and France for control of the Atlantic seaboard.
__The MacNeills gradually discover that Cherokee clans are not unlike Scottish clans, both culturally and spiritually, and that friendship, love, and loyalty can cross cultural and racial boundaries.
__The chronicles should be read in numerical order, and they are available in single chronicles or in volumes of multiple chronicles.

About the Author____
Betty Cloer Wallace is a tree farmer in Western North Carolina and a former instructor of writing and literature at a North Carolina community college that serves the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the largest concentration of Scottish descendants outside of Scotland. Her British ancestors settled in the Great Smoky Mountains in the 1700s and intermingled with the Cherokee who have populated the region for thousands of years. A former school district superintendent and principal in North Carolina and Alaska, Wallace spent ten years in Eskimo villages in the Alaskan Arctic—Bering Strait, North Slope, and Northwest Arctic—which greatly influenced her interest in how indigenous populations are impacted by immigrant cultures.


Bittersweet Freedom in a Far Land (Tuckaseegee Chronicles, #1)

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