Book Review: My Father’s Daughter by Teresa Marotta

Book Details:

File Size: 473 KB
Print Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Crary Publications
Publication Date: February 4, 2011
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Book Summary:

Stalking and kidnapping in the 19th century!

After the death of her father in the spring of 1893 in South Carolina, Amelia Porter discovers her father’s old travel journals that tell of his marriage to a Cherokee maiden during one of his summer trading trips. Amelia further learns of the birth of a baby daughter. A sister she never knew existed.

Thwarted in her request to travel un-chaperoned with her father’s former young trapping companion, a strong-willed Amelia is determined to find and unite with her half-sister, in spite of the intimidating warnings from her stern godfather and her mother’s concern for her safety. With decisive single-mindedness she devises an intricate scheme to follow the roguish trapper to the Cherokee trading camp.

During the course of Amelia’s treacherous journey she is stalked by a renegade Indian named Mukipha who plots to kidnap her and take her for his wife or place her head on a pole in front of his abode if she refuses. He is obsessed with the anticipated magic that her long, curly red hair will bring him in order to vindicate him and restore his position within his tribe. The budding romance between Amelia and the trapper only makes Mukipha a more dangerous and angry predator while trying to capture his trophy.

My Father’s Daughter is a historical adventure filled with suspense, romance, laughter and tears, taking the reader on a journey through the backwoods and swamps of South Carolina into the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as into the real world of the Cherokee long after the Trail Of Tears.

The current Medicine Woman and Keeper of the Flame for the Cherokee Nation was the resource for much of the authentic and historically accurate Cherokee customs of that era.

About the Author:

Teresa Marotta (pseudonym for Teresa Brown) has been writing since childhood, when her 8th grade teacher accused her of plagiarism for a Christmas poem she wrote. She majored in Journalism and English throughout high school and college and has written several short stories before embarking on her first novel My Father’s Daughter (not to be confused with Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook).

Under the name of Teresa Brown she has written the “Adoption Records Handbook” that helps birth families obtain their original birth records, locate their birth family, and find the answers to their questions. Much of the information can also be used by anyone searching for a missing person as well. Foreward Magazine said “As a search tool, this handbook is indispensable.”

As T. A. Brown she also co-wrote a compilation of articles entitled “Business Security” much like the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Subtitled: How to Protect Your Small Business Against Fraud, Debtors, Theft, Workplace Violence and More!

For more information about the author go to: http://www.CraryPublications.com

Book Review:

If you enjoy historical fiction with a large helping of romance on the side, My Father’s Daughter by Teresa Marotta may be the next good book you’ve been searching for. This novel is a definite must-read, especially if you’re interested in Native American Cherokee culture, history and traditions.

Set in the late 1800s on the fringe of the South Carolina frontier, the novel tells a story within a story. The book begins at the funeral of John Porter, an affluent Columbia businessman who was killed during his business travels. As his family mourns his passing, his daughter Amelia’s story begins.

Ostensibly an only child, Amelia secretly obtains her father’s private journal and discovers that he had once been married to a beautiful young Cherokee princess who died during child birth, leaving behind a daughter named Taunais. On her death bed, Sleeping Fawn makes her husband promise that their daughter will remain in the Cherokee culture and be raised by her Indian tribe.

John Porter kept his promise and even after he remarried Amelia’s mother, he made the decision to raise the daughters independent of each other, although he faithfully documented his interactions with each of them. The journals themselves are compelling and the author’s delineated writing style in this segment of the novel is excellent.

As a trapper and trader, her father would leave for months at a time acting as a conduit for goods and services to what was left of the clandestine Cherokee tribe. In hindsight, Amelia realizes her father has been dividing his time between his two daughters. The shock of discovering she has an older half-sister propels Amelia to find and meet her at all costs—no matter the danger.

Knowing she’ll meet resistance and outright opposition to her wishes, Amelia devises her own plan to shadow her one of her father’s business partner’s next expedition by following at a safe distance. It doesn’t take Andrew and his Indian companion long to discover their uninvited guest lurking behind them—they are trappers after all—but the men decide to play along and test Amelia’s resolve.

Andrew is the son of Amelia’s godfather, Thomas Hamilton (aka Uncle Thomas) who is also the executor of Amelia’s father’s estate. Until recent events, Andrew has viewed her as an indulged, obstinate child. Amelia was no fan of Andrew’s either, which creates the perfect setting for seeing each other in an “opposites attract” new light. Although not legally related, they were raised as if part of the same family, given that each other’s father was their respective godfather. The closeness of the Porter and Hamilton families might help to explain their lifelong indifference to each other—like cousins or siblings. It’s safe to say that each of these characters discovers a lot about themselves as they see each other in a new light during their journey to unite sisters of different cultures.

In a very short period of time, Amelia’s life is completely scuttled from everything she has known. She has found an unknown sister from an unknown culture, with the help of a prospective mate, in a matter weeks since the passing of her father. More important, she comes to find herself in the process.

Amelia is a young woman of great strength and determination, which is important to a pivotal plot point in the novel’s conclusion. Not one to settle for society norms in terms of woman’s roles, Amelia is a feminist ahead of her time as is her half-sister Taunais. The women also learn that despite their geographic and cultural differences, they are more alike than not.

The author has a done a nice job of creating rich characters with good dialog that flows nicely as a balanced historic tale. The title itself has a nice duality to it as My Father’s Daughter can and does apply to each of these diverse characters.

This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.

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