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Dailey (Tangled Vines, 1992, etc.), who has trotted out a parade of agreeable sudsers and a tribute or two to the under-appreciated, here goes to bat for the Cherokee Nation. In 1838, the people of the Cherokee Nation were banished from their ancestral land in Georgia to what is now Oklahoma, a trek marked by suffering and death. Dailey's company of principals is made up of a fiery beauty, a powerful head of household, a broody hero, and a plain Jane (until she shakes out her ringlets). Temple Gordon, with ""features that appeared to have been sculpted by an artist's hand,"" is the daughter of Will Gordon, a member of the Cherokee Nation's Council (one of the ""civilized"" tribes, they had adopted a constitutional form of government). Temple and a blue-eyed, scar-faced Cherokee hunk called ""The Blade"" are drawn to each other like the legs of a clap-stick and marry, while white schoolmarm Eliza Hall tutors the other children in the Gordon family -- one she has come to feel is her own -- not letting on that she has an affinity for Will, who's been married for many years to sickly Victoria. The Gordons boast a grand mansion, a rich plantation, and black slaves -- who are unaccountably devoted. Soon a split afflicts the Cherokee Nation as some like The Blade feel that with Georgians hot on grabbing their rich land and President Jackson doing nothing to stop it, they should sign a treaty for better terms. The majority, however, including the Gordons, are adamant -- until the Army drives them from their homes. On the westward march of tears and misery, there are family deaths, and Temple, estranged from The Blade, is reunited with an old suitor. At the close there is a kind of reconciliation. Papery characters and a paltry yarn set against a monstrous wrong.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1994
ISBN: 0003456994
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"