An Undis­turbed Peace: A Novel

  • Review
By – December 23, 2015

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.

Deb­o­rah Schoen­e­man, is a for­mer Eng­lish teacher/​Writing Across the Cur­ricu­lum Cen­ter Coor­di­na­tor at North Shore Hebrew Acad­e­my High School and coed­i­tor of Mod­ern Amer­i­can Lit­er­a­ture: A Library of Lit­er­ary Crit­i­cism, Vol. VI, pub­lished in 1997.

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