Thirteen Moons

Thirteen Moons, Charles Fraser
( also wrote Cold Mountain)
Cold Mountain is one of the most beautiful novels to be written in American in the past 20 years. The story is brilliant - a retelling of "the Odyssey", set in Civil War times in Appalachia. Love story rivals Romeo and Juliet or Scarlet and Rhett. Fraser is an extremely literate writer and his passages, language, images, details are glorious.

Thirteen Moons is a good book, but not as well crafted as Cold Mountain. It's a curse to try and follow an absolutely brilliant first novel, but there are moments when Thirteen Moons almost gets there. The first half of the story, which tells of a young boy abandoned in a mountain trading post in the early 1800's, and who is befriended by a local Indian tribe, is a gripping start. Somewhere, as the boy becomes a man, his character becomes less interesting and the story wallows as a result. Still, my own family is part Cherokee ( the tribe in this story) and I felt myself drawn to the people, the place.

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