Mountain Windsong by Robert J. Conley
A Novel of the Trail of Tears

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Set against the tragic events of the Cherokees' removal from their traditional lands in North Carolina to Indian Territory between 1835-1838, Mountain Windsong is a love story that brings to life the suffering and endurance of the Cherokee people. It is the moving tale of Waguli (Whippoorwill") and Oconeechee, a young Cherokee man and woman separated by the Trail of Tears. Just as they are about to be married, Waguli is captured be federal soldiers and, along with thousands of other Cherokees, taken west, on foot and then by steamboat, to what is now eastern Oklahoma. Though many die along the way, Waguli survives, drowning his shame and sorrow in alcohol. Oconeechee, among the few Cherokees who remain behind, hidden in the mountains, embarks on a courageous search for Waguli.

Robert J. Conley makes use of song, legend, and historical documents to weave the rich texture of the story, which is told through several, sometimes contradictory, voices. The traditional narrative of the Trail of Tears is told to a young contemporary Cherokee boy by his grandfather, presented in bits and pieces as they go about their everyday chores in rural North Carolina. The telling is neiter bitter nor hostile; it is sympathetic by unsentimental. An ironic third point of view, detached and often adversarial, is provided by the historical documents interspersed through the novel, from the text of the removal treaty to Ralph Waldo Emerson's letter to the president of the United States in protest of the removal. In this layering of contradictory elements, Conley implies questions about the relationships between history and legend, storytelling and myth-making.

Inspired by the lyrics of Don Grooms's song "Whippoorwill," which open many chapters in the text, Conley has written a novel both meticulously accurate and deeply moving.

 

About Robert J. Conley

See more books from this Author
Robert J. Conley was born in 1940 in Cushing Oklahoma. He is a Cherokee author and enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally recognized tribe of American Indians. He is noted for depictions of precontact and historical Cherokee figures. He is known for a series of books called the Real People Series. The sixth of the series, The Dark Island (1996) won the Spur Award for best Western novel in 1995. He has also won two other Spur Awards, in 1988 for the short story "Yellow Bird", and in 1992 for the novel Nickajack. In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
 
Published November 1, 1992 by Univ of Oklahoma Pr. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mountain Windsong

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Whippoorwill returns home with the news, but not before falling in love and promising to return to marry Oconeechee.

| Read Full Review of Mountain Windsong: A Novel of...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In his engrossing new novel (after Go-Ahead Rider ), the noted writer on western and Native American themes again turns his attention to the history of his people, the Cherokees.

| Read Full Review of Mountain Windsong: A Novel of...

Reader Rating for Mountain Windsong
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 51 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×