cover image Legacies


Janet Dailey. Little Brown and Company, $22.95 (394pp) ISBN 978-0-316-17205-9

Despite its predictable love story, this Civil War saga provides a fascinating look at Cherokee Indians as plantation owners and slaveholders, and at the conflicts that arose within the Cherokee Nation as a result of the war. This sequel to The Proud and the Free opens in May 1860 in Springfield, Mass., as 19-year-old Diane Parmelee, a blonde, blue-eyed army brat, encounters a former childhood friend, the darkly handsome Cherokee Lije Stuart, now a Harvard University law graduate. Old passions flare, but Diana refuses Lije's marriage proposal when he insists that they live in the Cherokee Nation Indian Territory. Returning to his family's plantation, Lije runs into Kipp Gordon, his mother's brother and the bitter enemy of Lije's father, The Blade. At age three, Lije witnessed Kipp and other masked men kill his grandfather, Shawano Stuart, who had signed an unauthorized treaty that surrendered all Cherokee land in the East to the federal government. Because The Blade also signed the treaty, Kipp and his son, Alex, still consider him a traitor. Lije, The Blade, Kipp and Alex all join the Confederate Army during the Civil War, but soon enough Kipp and Alex desert to the Union, a scenario that gives the Stuarts and the Gordons the opportunity to settle their old scores on the battlefield. Although the on-again, off-again romance between Lije and Diana is as predictable as it is contrived, the fierce intrafamily feud and background material on the Cherokee Nation keep the narrative lively and interesting. 125,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections; author tour. (Sept.)