Mary Glickman’s vivid new novel, An Undisturbed Peace, begins in the early 1830s when Abrahan Bento Sassporta Nagar is exiled from London to America.
Indebted to his uncle Isadore for funding his passage, Abe begins his new life as a traveling peddler in Greensborough, North Carolina. Moderately successful, he is anxious to work himself out of debt — until he meets a Cherokee woman named Dark Water, or Marian, as she introduces herself. Marian is overwhelmingly beautiful in Abe’s eyes, and he instantly falls in love with her. While she is very affectionate with him, Abe remains ignorant for a very long time of where her true heart lies. An Undisturbed Peace becomes the story of Abe’s discovery of Dark Water’s world and heritage, the story of the brutal resettlement of the Cherokee nation to the wilds of Tennessee, of how starvation and disease killed thousands despite federal promises of financial compensation and adequate provisions for the migration.
Mary Glickman depicts the Cherokee exile in its starkest, brutal reality, a terrorizing, confusing, and horrific event fueled by prejudice that almost completely destroyed North Carolina’s native population. The parallel is astonishing when one’s eyes are opened to the similar treatment and eviction forced upon those disenfranchised persons that the Jewish people had known for centuries. Yet that is not the ultimate response of Abe and Marian, nor their peers and families. “It is not the land, it is the people that must survive,” concludes Marian.
Well researched and highly recommended, An Undisturbed Peace is a superb work of historical fiction.