It is February 1839, and the survivors of the Cherokee Trail of Tears have just arrived in Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. A quarter of the removed Indian population have died along the way, victims of cold, disease, and despair. Now the Cherokee people confront an unknown future. How will they build anew from nothing? How will they plow fields of unbroken sod, full of rocks too heavy to lift? Can they put aside the pain and anger of Removal and find peace?
Pushing the Bear: After the Trail of Tears tells the story of the Cherokees' resettlement in the hard years following Removal, a story never before explored in fiction. In this sequel to her popular 1996 novel Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears, author Diane Glancy continues the tale of Cherokee brothers O-ga-na-ya and Knobowtee and their families, as well the Reverend Jesse Bushyhead, a Cherokee Christian minister. The book follows their travails in Indian Territory as they attempt to build cabins, raise crops, and adjust to new realities.
The novel begins with a nation defeated--displaced, starving, broken, still walking that hated Trail in their dreams. Debate rages between followers of the old ways and converts to Christianity, and conflict between those who opposed and those who authorized resettlement eventually erupts into violence. In the aftermath of confusion, despair, and turmoil, a new nation emerges.