Pushing the Bear on the Trail of Tears
A true reflection of the hardships and difficulties faced by the Native Americans as they marched the Trail of Tears
Pushing the Bear is by author Diane Glancy. It is the story of the Native Americans who were forcibly taken from their land and homes and then marched across thousands of miles to only then be held in reservation camps. Many lives were lost as they walked what later would become known as the Trail of Tears.
While the characters and stories in the book are fictional, the events, emotions, and difficulties told within it are based upon actual events that occured to the Native Americans who were forced to endure this terrifying event.
The main point of view throughout the book seems to be through the eyes of Maritole and her husband Knobowtee. The book begins with an average day in their lives. Maritole tending to the baby while Knobowtee tends to the fields. When suddenly white soldiers appear, Knobowtee and Maritole are taken from their home and forced to begin their march on the Trail of Tears.
Along the way various other characters are introduced and the story is told from their point of view. This adds an interesting aspect to the book. Allowing the reading to see a single even through the eyes of those who are walking against their will and the eyes of those forcing them to walk.
Being of Cherokee ancestry, I am always looking for books such as these. I love learning about my heritage and finding out where I come from. While the story of Pushing the Bear is fictional, the events it tells about were very real. By showing them in this fictional setting, more people will be educated on the hardships and realities of the lives of the Native Americans.
Likes & Dislikes
While I loved the theme and plot of the book, I had great difficulty following it. I often had to read several passages over and over to figure out exactly what was going on. Each event in the book is told from several different points of view. Not just that of Maritole's, the main character, but also the soldiers as well as other women and men who were present with Maritole and her husband.
While I appreciated having these different outlooks on a single event, the book jumped so quickly from one POV to the next that it made it difficult to understand if you were reading about a new event or just another POV.
Also new characters suddenly appear from out of nowhere. You have no idea how they are connected to the main character or how they suddenly appeared from thin air.
If the book had been written more fluidly, then I would have had absolutely no complaints as this genre is one of my favorites. However due to the abruptness and sudden POV changes, it made me not like the book as much as I wanted to, but even with the sudden changes and rough edges, I would still recommend me this book to all historical fiction lovers.