Pushing the Bear on the Trail of Tears

Dafeenah By Dafeenah, 7th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/y-d4cxl5/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>History

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.

Title Characters

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.

My Thoughts

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.


Cherokee, Dafeenah, Diane Glancy, Historical Fiction, Native Americans, Trail Of Tears

Meet the author

author avatar Dafeenah
Freelance graphic designer specializing in book covers and ebook formatting

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar PHYLLIS LOGIE
7th Mar 2011 (#)

I enjoyed your review of this book, I thought it was fair and balanced. I also like fluidity in the novels I read and having to read one ppassage several times just isn't my bag either.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Dafeenah
7th Mar 2011 (#)

Thanks. It really detracted from the book. While it is a good book I just couldn't get past that.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Mar 2011 (#)

A brilliant, accurate review. I've read the book and agree with your judgment completely.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Rathnashikamani
8th Mar 2011 (#)

You've reflected your ideas well. Good write.

Reply to this comment

author avatar aden kendroemen
10th Mar 2011 (#)

Although not of Native American blood, I resonate with their philosophies, so radical to my European ancestors, who had long since forgotten their connection to the land. It is sad to think of the treatment they suffered in the name of progress, still I respect their refusal to acclimate to a system they viewed as insane. Sitting Bull, Ten Bears, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, along with many others, would not be cowed. These are not the bloodthirsty savages as the propaganda of the time portrayed them to be. They were Leaders, Shamans, and Great Warriors holding honor among their own as well as with their enemies. Most of my fellow Americans are proud to be so, I often wonder it they truly know the cost. I am quite sure most do not even know that the forefathers of their country, modeled their government after the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Thanks for sharing this.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Dafeenah
10th Mar 2011 (#)

Thanks for that comment. In all honestly my 1/16th blood doesn't really count for much but I hold onto it. Mostly due to the things you mention in your comment.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sue Potter
26th May 2016 (#)

See above.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?