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Pushing The Bear (Harvest American Writing)…
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Pushing The Bear (Harvest American Writing) (edition 1998)

by Diane Glancy (Author)

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1221193,972 (3.96)2
"In 1838, thirteen thousand Cherokee - forced off their lands in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee - walked nine hundred miles through four winter months on what is known as the Trail of Tears. Uprooted from their homes, betrayed by the government that they had treated with respect, separated from the land that nurtured them, the Cherokee struggled to understand how to make a new life." "Acclaimed author Diane Glancy has given this tragic history flesh and blood through the wrenching story of a young woman and her family. Torn from a settled life in North Carolina, Maritole walks apart from her husband when their fears about the future strain the bonds of their marriage. One of Maritole's brothers has disappeared; disease, hunger, cold, and fatigue threaten the rest of her family. On the trail, everyday problems grow and evolve, fed by anger and despair." "Fiercely determined and deeply compassionate, Maritole reaches out to family, friends, strangers-even to a white soldier in her search to understand how, and why, to survive the numbing punishments of the Trail. A chorus of voices old and young, angry and resigned, analytical and philosophical, antic and inspired - vividly recreates the Cherokee struggle, in all its power and passion, and uncovers the deeper ground that ultimately allowed the Cherokee to endure." "Forcefully removed from their world and taken altogether elsewhere, this ancient people never ceased to try to regain their footing and to begin anew, despite the senselessness of the removal. In showing how the Cherokee succeeded in this quest, Pushing the Bear brings to stunning life the immense achievement, moral and spiritual as much as physical, that resulted from the Trail of Tears."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)
Member:RiverAsh17
Title:Pushing The Bear (Harvest American Writing)
Authors:Diane Glancy (Author)
Info:Harper Paperbacks (1998), 256 pages
Collections:Tanya Miles' Collection
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Pushing the Bear by Diane Glancy

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What I loved about this book was finishing it and being free to go on to my next book. I came close to giving this 1 star but I just couldn’t because I loved the map on the inside covers and the maps that are at the front of each chapter, showing the route as the Cherokee progressed, and I like that the Cherokee language is used at times throughout the book.

I’m very interested in the Trail of Tears but I might have preferred a non-fiction book or at the least a much better novel. I will not be reading the sequel, Pushing the Bear: After the Trail of Tears. If not for my real world book club I would have taken a look at the information about the Cherokee oral/written language and then abandoned the book; there HAVE to be better books about this subject out there.

Reading this was a slog. It was tedious when it shouldn’t be and I just couldn’t care that much about the characters when I should have. Sometimes I mildly enjoyed this as I was reading but I never got lost in the book.

I often like books such as this, with alternating narrators, but here some of the narrators seem to be there just to give the reader the history and background information about the removal. While I’m interested in the history and was glad to learn more about it, it’s didn’t make for a scintillating novel. The book is written in short little sections so it’s way too easy to put down the book, sometimes a helpful thing, but for me I’m not so sure it was with this particular book. The account felt very jerky; there was no good flow to the story.

I got really irritated when the conflict between the Cherokee and the European whites was presented as too evenly at fault. Yes, it was good to see sympathetic white European soldiers and not perfect Cherokee, but nope, the forced removal wouldn’t have happened without the whites coveting the Cherokee’s land. The Cherokee lived in cabins, had possessions, and were farmers, not at all nomadic by that time. Sorry, not evenly at fault at all. Not even close!

I did learn a lot. The Trail of Tears was much different than I’d envisioned. Many things struck me, including the fact that the Native Americans forced from their farms were also forced to pay landowners/farmers for passage over their lands. We American immigrants have a crazy history, which I suppose it just part of the overall crazy human history.

So, I’m glad I’m done and delighted to move on. I would like to read an excellent book or more, fiction and/or non-fiction, about The Trail of Tears. If any Goodreads’ members can recommend any, I’d appreciate it. I can’t recommend this book to anyone, but I’m curious about what my other seven book club members will say about this book. ( )
1 vote Lisa2013 | Apr 17, 2013 |
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"In 1838, thirteen thousand Cherokee - forced off their lands in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee - walked nine hundred miles through four winter months on what is known as the Trail of Tears. Uprooted from their homes, betrayed by the government that they had treated with respect, separated from the land that nurtured them, the Cherokee struggled to understand how to make a new life." "Acclaimed author Diane Glancy has given this tragic history flesh and blood through the wrenching story of a young woman and her family. Torn from a settled life in North Carolina, Maritole walks apart from her husband when their fears about the future strain the bonds of their marriage. One of Maritole's brothers has disappeared; disease, hunger, cold, and fatigue threaten the rest of her family. On the trail, everyday problems grow and evolve, fed by anger and despair." "Fiercely determined and deeply compassionate, Maritole reaches out to family, friends, strangers-even to a white soldier in her search to understand how, and why, to survive the numbing punishments of the Trail. A chorus of voices old and young, angry and resigned, analytical and philosophical, antic and inspired - vividly recreates the Cherokee struggle, in all its power and passion, and uncovers the deeper ground that ultimately allowed the Cherokee to endure." "Forcefully removed from their world and taken altogether elsewhere, this ancient people never ceased to try to regain their footing and to begin anew, despite the senselessness of the removal. In showing how the Cherokee succeeded in this quest, Pushing the Bear brings to stunning life the immense achievement, moral and spiritual as much as physical, that resulted from the Trail of Tears."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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