Broken Road is a sprawling story, covering several generations, confronting social, historical and racial tensions... An Epic in its Approach!
The Cherokee, more than any other Native American people, embraced white culture and emulated its institutions. In the end, all their efforts at assimilation came to naught: the American government under Andrew Jackson evicted them from their ancestral lands, driving them west along what came to be known as The Trail of Tears to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
Broken Road, set against the historical backdrop of these events, follows several generations of one Native familyand the white women who enter their livesin their quests for wealth, love, power and dignity. Embedded in the roots of mythology and sacred history of the "Real People" (the name by which the Cherokee referred to themselves), the novel is an account of the intense love-hate relationship between two peoples that was ultimately to end in the destruction of the Cherokee way of life.
from the PROLOGUE
My name is Sophia Sawyer and I am long dead. Indeed, the last thing I remember doing while I was still alive was hiking up my skirts and wading into the Oconaluftee River at Saligugi, Turtle Place, where the children used to swim on hot summer days. I was carrying a silver-headed cane in one hand and a battered old dream catcher in the other and my pockets were filled with stones lest I change my mind or fear change it for me. August 16, 1838. The date sticks in my mind, like a bone in the throat. The date of my death.
One thing I have learned: death does not extinguish our souls nor does it instantly banish them to some point beyond our imagining. No, souls just linger on, and, as time passes, fade like all worn things. People expect much from Heaven, but it is only this diminished presence, gradual dissolution. I think that this must disappoint manythe missionaries with whom I cast my lot as a young woman put such store in an Afterlifewhen we are but time travelers relaying our handful of messages across the centuries in shifts. And I am content with this, for I have much to remember and reflect upon. I have my stories...
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