This is a portrayal of two plebeian families that lived far into the Appalachian Mountains. The fiery Jasper Burnine family, Caucasian, and The Moon clan, Cherokee, were across from the other on Clear Creek. Surprisingly, they became close. The hot-tempered Burnines became bitter over the ill treatment of The Moon clan. The Moon, the ex-Cherokee warrior, became an enraged madman. Privately, he declared war on those that came to molest his family. The intruders that couldn’t escape his wrath were left as food for the buzzards and foxes.
The book has a powerful story. It is fast paced, violent, romantic, bawdy, hard bitten, comical, and haunting. Life was hard in the mountains. Half the children died young. In the new nation there was little law enforcement, so each family stayed on guard. The time, 1790 to 1840, was a period of crisis for the new nation called The United States of America. Would they remain a nation? The British were lurking, waiting for an opening. The Cherokees, beaten in war, saw their land taken as white people came to settle the new continent. The Indians worried over this for years. Would they have to move across the big river to the new country?