In a nutshell, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a fictional tale about the Cherokee Nation during the 1800’s when Indians were being sent West. Specifically, it is about a character named Will Cooper: a white man adopted by the Cherokee chief Bear after being abandoned and sold into bondage by his family.
Thirteen Moons is a slowly paced memoir style fiction. At times I wished that it would hurry up, but at the same time I loved the rich, detailed descriptions. I also really enjoyed Will Cooper as a character. I wish that some of the other characters were as fleshed out as Cooper, but then he is telling the story and very focused on himself so in a way it makes sense.
It’s been a while since I’ve read straight fiction, or historical fiction for that matter, so it was a bit of a change for me. As Frazier says in his notes at the end, if you are looking for history you “should look elsewhere”. However, Thirteen Moons had enough historical content to make me interested in actually “looking elsewhere” for more about the Cherokee people in the nineteenth-century.
From BN.COM: ” At the age of twelve, under the Wind moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home. In a card game with a white Indian named Featherstone, Will wins – for a brief moment – a mysterious girl named Claire, and his passion and desire for her spans this novel. As Will’s destiny intertwines with the fate of the Cherokee Indians – including a Cherokee Chief named Bear – he learns how to fight and survive in the face of both nature and men, and eventually, under the Corn Tassel Moon, Will begins the fight against Washington City to preserve the Cherokee’s homeland and culture. And he will come to know the truth behind his belief that “only desire trumps time.”