I just finished reading Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier yesterday afternoon. I found myself unable to stop reading it until the conclusion. I thought it was an excellent novel.
Thirteen Moons tells the story of one Will Cooper. The novel starts with Will as an old man looking back over his life beginning with being sold into indentured servitude at an Indian Trading Post in the frontier of North Carolina. Will strikes up a relationship with the Indian Chief Bear, and eventually becomes his adopted son. Over his colorful life he becomes a successful mercantile owner, white Indian Chief, a lawyer, and a senator.
I think the two greatest points of the book were the description of the Trail of Tears and Will's lifelong love for Claire Featherstone. Will and Bear try everything to keep a piece of their homeland and not have to move West. The story really put a face on the Trail of Tears for me with it's description of the ruthless pursuit of the Indians who would not pick up stacks and move away from the only home they had every known. I was very disturbed.
I liked the love story between Claire and Will, but I was disappointed in it's conclusion . . . I won't say more and ruin it for those who want to read it! I did like how Claire was Will's one true love, passion, and muse throughout his life.
Thirteen Moons is not a quick and easy read. Like Cold Mountain before it, it is a novel to be read and savored at a more leisurely pace. The description in the novel is unparalled, especially the food. I could envision myself on Will Cooper's travels, especially eating one of his delectable campfire meals. If you would like a great American novel that describes one man's journey through the events that shaped our country, Thirteen Moons is for you!