Lewis has brought early Tennessee history to vigorous life in
this novel based on the daunting adventures of her great-great-great
grandmother, Ann Robertson Johnson Cockrill.
In December 1779, Ann, a widow with three young daughters, sets
off with the Donelson party from East Tennessee to join her brothers
in a wild, new land on the Cumberland River. The group traveled
by boat — believed to be a safe route — only to discover
that their map had underestimated distance, the rivers were wild
and dangerous, the weather unbearably cold, and Indian tribes were
waiting to attack. Miraculously, a large number managed to survive
and help found what is today Nashville, Tennessee. And in the midst
of all of her troubles, Ann manages to fall in love.
It is an unforgettable tale of the physical and moral courage
necessary to carve civilization out of the wilderness.
to a Real Audio stream of Peyton talking about her book
on the Diane Rehm Show, June 30, 2005.