Thirteen Moons. Charles Frazier.



Charles Frazier is the author of Cold Mountain, and I first heard his name when we were staying in the NC mountains near where he wrote that book. Someone mentioned he had written much of it near a cabin we had rented. I immediately went out and got that book, and loved it. And the movie was pretty good too. 🙂

Thirteen Moons is his 2nd novel, with a 9 year gap between the two. I assume much of that is for the required research. It is the story of a boy sent out, pretty much by himself, into 19th century america, at the border of the Indian/Cherokee nation. It follows his life story, and more importanly the story of the Cherokee nation, at a time when the American government was pushing them west, on the “Trail of Tears.”

I have to admit that the opening chapter had me hooked — it was the young boy looking back, talking like a wisened old man, which he was. And most of the book was pretty good, though towards the end, the story kind of fizzled for me. I guess I don’t know what I expected, but I expected something different. I still highly recommend it, though I’d probably give it one less star than Cold Mountain. Beautiful language, historical fiction (often my favorite), and it’s local to the NC mountains again.

As usual, here are some quotes:

  • The gist of the story is that even when all else is lost and gone forever, there is yearning. One of the few welcome lessons age teaches is that only desire trumps time.

  • Some people wanted to know their future, and some didn’t. I, for one, didn’t. Is wolf or bear aware of impending death? No. Would wolf or bear be better for the knowledge? I tend to think not. Be as you are and then go on your way to the Nightland is my belief.

  • I don’t know why I like this one so much. Someone a long time ago told me to buy the right tools for the job and do it yourself. In the end, the tool will pay for itself. Of course that assumes that you may need the tool more than once, which is not always the case.

    The way I see it, I can either hire a man to plow my cornfield every spring, or I can buy a plow. I’m looking to buy a plow.

  • … I believe we should all have to testify against ourselves at some latter point in life. Lay out our flaws with a clerk writing it all down for permanent record. It is a baracing and chastening experience…

  • If you are going to die tomorrow, do you spend the time praising creation or cursing God?

  • When everything is immediately availalbe and infinitely reproducible, nothing is valuable.

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