Book Review: In The Shadow of the Hanging Tree

Title: In The Shadow of the Hanging Tree
Author: Micahel A Mclellan
Genre: Fiction, American History
Pages: 178
Publisher: Sweet Candy Press
Release Date: 27 January, 2017

Rating: 4/5

In The Shadow of the Hanging Tree is the third book by Michael A Mclellan. It is due to release on the 27th of January 2017. The book is set on the part of American history when the Civil War had just come to an end. It touches some of the sensitive issues such as racism and slavery apart from the clash between the Americans and the Red Indians.

Henry is a black man whose has been a slave all his life. He and Eliza, his wife, want to leave their terrible lives behind to start afresh. They plan to escape to the north and find jobs since slavery has been abolished. Hiding from the white men, they travel on foot but tragedy strikes as they are spotted. Meanwhile, John Elliot, a young cadet in the military falls in love with his father's enemy's daughter, Clara. Strings are pulled and John is sent off to Dakota, far away from his love. As John begins his work in the Dakota territory, he discovers a government conspiracy that involves the elimination of the Indians for the convenience of the big American expansion. When Clara comes to know of her father's involvement in John's departure, she leaves her father's house in search of John. Henry is rescued by the Cheyenne people after an accident and as he begins to understand them, he realizes that they are kind and humane as opposed to what as being broadcasted by the white men. Henry and John, come together as one to fight the hate war representing the only side that matters - humanity.

This was my first time reading about American history and it was definitely refreshing. The narration is well paced with lots of emotions, which I personally appreciated. The book throws light on the exploitation of the Red Indians, racism and the resultant miserable lives of the slaves. And also the tragic consequences of it all. But what the reader takes away from the book is the consolation that despite the wars and regardless of their race, there were heroes to save humanity during such trying times in history.

The character of Henry comes on as a powerful one and is my favorite. The miseries and tragedies of his life makes him strong and brave but nevertheless, compassionate. Henry is torn between helping the white and the Indians, but ultimately chooses the path of justice.

In The Shadow of the Hanging Tree is a touching story with an action packed climax. The author sends out a strong reminder of our past. It is sad that so much has been endured, so much has been lost in the name of race, money and development. But as we know through examples from history, freedom doesn't come without sacrifices.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it.

Catch the author's interview here.

*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***


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