The McClendon family lives in the Cherokee town of Feather Falls. Sput Louie is “tired of living just a notch above slavery,” so she wants her husband, Benjamin, to convince his biological father, Goliah, to recognize him. Goliah is a half white and half Cherokee man with a lot of influence in the community. If Goliah acknowledges him, then Benjamin would have the right to an allotment of Cherokee land for his family. However, Goliah evicts Benjamin and his family from the area they were living in. Benjamin’s sudden disappearance makes the situation worse for Sput Louie, who is left alone with her sons to deal with the eviction. Where is Benjamin? Will he return? While trying to find out what happened to her husband, Sput Louie discovers devastating family secrets with enormous consequences.
I chose to read this story because I am a historical fiction fan looking to learn more about Native American History. The book did not disappoint me in this sense. I have a bachelor’s degree in History of the Americas and a master’s degree in European History. Imagine my astonishment when I learned while reading that Native Americans used to be slaveowners. And that after slavery ended in the United States, Native Americans were racists with the former slaves, known as freedmen. Arlene L. Walker did a great job tackling a subject that American schools and colleges are not teaching. In all my years of studying history, no one ever mentioned it in a lecture or a book. It is just astonishing!
Besides Walker’s excellent research of the relations between Native Americans and African Americans after the end of the American Civil War, her descriptive writing style stood out to me. The following is an example: “Inch by inch, the heavy door whispered open and what Sput saw through the slowly widening crack was not a Fancy, but a fright.” Also, Walker’s characters have depth. I detested Goliah, thought Two Bird was a hypocrite, and felt mortified for Benjamin and Sput Louie.
Despite the many positive points of the book, it failed to catch my attention. It took me a long time to finish it. The storyline progressed slowly for me until the outrageous revelation came out. After that, I got more into the story, as I wanted to know how the main characters would deal with the disclosure and its consequences.
Overall, I think Walker is an original writer with potential, and Seeds of Deception success in bringing to light an obscured part of American History. The story, however, developed slowly for me, and the revelation was too perverse for my taste.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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