Losing St. Christopher

Book 2 in the Cherokee Series

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
333 Pages
Reviewed on 11/17/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Raanan Geberer for Readers' Favorite

Losing St. Christopher: Book 2 in the Cherokee Series by David-Michael Harding is the second in a trilogy featuring the story of Chancellor Vann. As the book begins in the 1820s, Vann, son of a shaman, is the epitome of an acculturated Cherokee Indian, wise in the knowledge of both the white world and traditional ways. He is educated at mission schools, speaks fluent English, and he becomes engaged to a white woman, the daughter of one of the teachers at his seminary. But Vann persists in standing up to the verbal and physical attacks of prejudiced whites, and one of these altercations results in the death of two sailors. And all around him, the situation of the Cherokees keeps getting worse, culminating in the infamous Indian Removal Act of 1830. Vann, his father, his wife and their new baby are in danger. Will the silver St. Christopher’s medal his wife has given him continue to protect them?

Losing St. Christopher by David-Michael Harding brings to life one of the most shameful episodes of American history. While millions have heard the song “Indian Reservation (Cherokee Nation),” many don’t know the story behind it. Harding is a master at describing the day-to-day life of the Cherokees. We see both the life of the assimilated Cherokee elite, with their spacious houses, their newspaper and their sophisticated system of government, and the world of Chancellor’s father, Totsuhwa, who has taught his son traditional medicine, folklore and fighting techniques. In the depictions of the sailors, the wagon master and the Georgia Guardsmen, we see first-hand the racist attitudes that so many whites had toward Native Americans. All in all, Losing St. Christopher is a good dramatization of a part of history that for too long has been swept under the rug.