What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell
Jonathan Asher hides in a hollowed log with his sister while his family’s cabin on the River of the Cherokee burns. There is complete darkness. Outside, a boy’s voice promises, “I’ll come back for you.”
Raised at the Asher Trading Post, his world changes with a blood payment for his life to the Seneca.
He takes to the road, first as an itinerant preacher, too young to be not led into temptation,
Then as a peddler and vagabond traveling through a country increasingly at war with itself.
His fortune turns. He becomes a merchant, smuggler, and friend of a fellow smuggler, Benedict Arnold,
And the beloved of a girl who wants to hear every story in the world.
Under the cover of a war profiteer, he offers to spy for the Continental Army in New York.
And before Jonathan becomes the avenger that he believes he must be, the boy, now a man, keeps the promise made on the River of the Cherokee.
I enjoy books regarding the Revolutionary War and always appreciate the efforts of our great-greats back then to survive a war no one thought the colonies capable. This novel presents a tough scenario that hooks and leads into the story of Jonathan Asher as his brother enabled his survival first from Native American attack and later as a privateer.
My problem is that my interest lagged. I kept reading, waiting for the direction expected only to discover it wasn’t going there.
Jonathan first discovers God, then the realization of his lack of religious education. As a boy, he ventures where his nose points and discovers ways of living as a peddler and odd jobs. When he is introduced to Benedict Arnold, he discovers many more ways of survival—that of a merchant, smuggler, privateer, and later as a war profiteer.
Not that he’s happy with himself by working the latter. Through the latter, he is recruited to spy for the Continental Army in New York. He takes that job as a way of pursuing the vengeance he has sworn to avenge the torture and death of his beloved.
I’m not sure where the espionage comes in as most of the narrative focuses on his efforts at finding the three men responsible for her ultimate painful death.
He has, however, in the space of Book 1, managed to find one of the men. His older brother appears to be haunting him as well as he appears to surface at most agreeable times, though that thread does not end happily.
And then…”to be continued” appears. Well, talk about cliffhangers. Unfortunately, I was not able to engage sufficiently with Jonathan. The war is ugly and it would appear nothing changes from war to war; there are always those who would profit from the suffering of the many. I’m sure this odyssey will appeal to Revolutionary War buffs, the saga apparently continuing in Jonathan’s efforts to seek the remaining two of the three and there are still years of war to survive. Just not for me.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Three-point Five Stars
Genre: US Historical Fiction, War & Military Action Fiction, Action & Adventure Romance Fiction
Print Length:368 pages
Publication Date: June 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell [Amazon]
The Author: For me, one of the great pleasures of writing is having a character come out of your head and begin to speak with a mind of its own. I’ve written WHERE FORTUNE LIES, a time-slip novel where the vehicle to the past is the human heart, which may be just as magical as stones or gems or other methods of transportation. As for my curriculum vitae, I graduated from UCLA with a bachelors in Spanish taking a circuitous route through the University of Santa Cruz and the University of Barcelona. In an alternate universe where my life has gone wrong, I would be devoting the time of my long prison sentence to translating Don Quixote into English. I’ve run my own business selling Spanish language gift items. I am married with two grown daughters.
©2022 V Williams