Title: Thirteen Moons
Author: Charles Frazier
Summary: Charles Frazier’s Thirteen Moons is the story of one man’s remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change. At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and I sent on a journey through the wilderness to the edge of the Cherokee Nation the uncharted white space on the map. Will is a bound boy, obligated to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills is lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Will’s character. All the while, his love for Claire the enigmatic and captivating charge of the volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Will’s heart.
In a distant voice filled with both humour and yearning, Will tells of a life long search for his home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion. As he comes to realize “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.
Will Copper, in the hands of Charles Frazier, is a man devoted to a place and its people, to a woman and to a way of life, all of which seem forever just beyond his reach. Thirteen Moons takes us from the uncharted wilderness of an unspoiled continent to the urban clamor of a raw Washington City of the nineteenth century and gives way to the telephones, automobiles and encroaching rails of the twentieth. Steeped in history, rich in insight and filled with moments of sudden beauty, Thirteen Moons is an unforgettable work of fiction by an American master
My Rating: 8.75/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: Another example of a beautiful and flowing style of writing. Charles Frazier has done a splendid job at creating a story and painting a picture of the culture, the wilderness and events in the book. I really enjoyed this book, Wills story gripped me at times, both sad and happy. He had a some what lonely life, but he constantly worked for everything and had a never give up way of thinking, I enjoyed his character. It wasn’t one I fell in love with, but he is a character that sticks with you.
The realism to the characters Frazier brought in. The friendships, triumphs, and deaths of the characters were well written and moving at times. I really felt bad for Will when his Horse died. A “friend” he had since boyhood. It sounds a little corny, but if/when you read the book you’ll understand.
I’m not sure how historically accurate the novel is, I’ve read in other reviews it’s loosely based on real events and real people, but regardless of accuracy I enjoyed the book a lot. I liked the glimpses into the lives and culture, of a culture, that has pretty much been whipped out from today’s society, and I think I’ll read more books close to this books genre and theme.
The only issue I have with the book is sometimes the book did drag out a bit more than I would have liked it. But it’s fairly minor, the elegant writing style will make you keep reading if anything else.
Would I recommend it to read: Absolutely! It’s a great story, and the author has an amazing talent. At least give it a try. Some who don’t like descriptiveness wouldn’t like the book much, but I think a lot of readers can take something out of this, because it has such a variety in themes, and pieces of a story (writing style, characterisation, events etc) that cover a wide spectrum of readers. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see this on a future 1001 list to read before you die or similar.
What to read next: I've heard good things about his other novel, Cold Mountain. Also the stone Diaries has the similarities in the story of a person's life.
Challenges: 100+ Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, A - Z Challenge,
Dewey's Book Challenge, New Author Challenge, Spring Reading Challenge
Dewey's Review of Thirteen Moons