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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
I had the pleasure of reading Marcus Abston’s Bloodlines, the first book in his A Dying Truth Exposed series, just over a month ago. I was delighted to find out recently that I didn’t have to wait too long to see what was next in store for the beautiful slave girl, Annabelle. Her story stole my heart in Bloodlines as she fled from her sexually abusive white master. Now, in Standing Against the Wind, Annabelle once again finds herself more fortunate than many black slaves, thanks to the protection afforded her by a kindly family of Cherokee Native Americans. Yet, despite the kindness Annabelle is shown, survival and acceptance by the entire Cherokee community isn’t a smooth ride. Some of the Cherokee also employ slaves and don’t approve of her new family granting her full freedom. Then there is the continuing threat of the white men who check up on and remain biased against both the Cherokees and the black slaves.
As Abston tells Annabelle’s latest story, we are treated to not only touching details of family love and several romances but also to a fascinating insight into how African American and Native American interracial marriages might have occurred. Along the way, we also learn about the strong contrasts between white, black, and native races regarding religious and spiritual beliefs. It is interesting to see how each race explains its positions and how some adopted the practices and beliefs of the other, while some never could or would. I must say that one of the truths that struck me most was that when it came to the treatment of both the Native American and black slaves by white Christians, too many of these Christians preached, but didn’t practice what Jesus taught.
While these two books in Marcus Abston’s series would be enjoyed by readers of any age, in so many respects the ideal audience is older school children. What a wonderful way for young adults to learn about lesser-known aspects of America’s past! Like Bloodlines, Standing Against the Wind is comprised of short, vignette-style chapters. Abston has beautifully woven these together through an engaging plot. The result is a novel that is easy to read, moves quickly with plenty of dialogue, has a large, colorful cast of characters, and offers several instances of clean, romantic young love. In short, there is much to like, enjoy and learn about in Standing Against the Wind.