An Undisturbed Peace by Mary Glickman
Wow. This is the kind of book I really love. The layers of story between Abrahan Bento Sassaporta Naggar, a Jew from the squalor of London who comes to America indentured to his uncle in Georgia, Dark Water of the Mountains, also known as Marian, and Jacob a slave all set within President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act makes for a sit up late at night read.
The whites are moving in and they want land. Land that the Native Americans cared for, lived on and respected for centuries. As the Natives try to stem the tide through resistance and then giving in and trying to appease the whites by living in houses, dressing in grand clothes and hoping not to be so noticeable, like a child sitting quietly in a corner in a room filled with adults, hoping to listen in before being chased off. But President Jackson is also a white man and so goes the ruling. The Natives must go.
Abrahan is not quite allowed yet to be a part of his uncle’s emporium but must take to the road as a salesman to the settlers. He finds Marian and falls in hopeless love with her. But Marian does not want to be found or loved. She lives her life in solitude running from the whites and her own demons of the past.
Jacob is in hiding, protected by the Native Americans because of events in his past.
As Abe trades with the settlers and Native Americans he sees and learns a lot, forms his own judgements which are not the common ones of whites, and tries to protect both Marian and Jacob as their stories play out. The Indian Removal Act is nothing to be proud of and Jacob can see many parallels in his own life as a Jew.
This is a really, really good book.