Call the River Home

Frances Patton Statham, Author Ballantine Books $9 (408p) ISBN 978-0-449-90340-7
This fictionalized biography of Mary Musgrove, a Creek princess who served as liaison and interpreter for James Oglethorpe, is too simplistic and bland for the targeted adult audience but may vivify early 18th-century Georgia for young adults. Statham ( Daughters of the Summer Storm ) follows Mary as, in her final days, she looks back over her life. At her mother's death, the young Coosaponakeesa went to reside with her white fatherstet/pk , Ian Yonahlongi, at his trading post. Although at first the girl, now named Mary, had to struggle for acceptance, she soon mastered the ways of the white community. When war erupted between the Creek and the colonists, Mary placed the settlement under her protection by displaying her royal flag. After marrying trader John Musgrove, Mary moved to Charlestown, where she met Oglethorpe. By writing treaties and acting as interpreter with the Creeks, Mary was instrumental in helping Oglethorpe and his colonists establish Savannah and survive there. Yet Mary found that the settlers' gratitude was not to be relied upon and that their promises were more readily made than honored. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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