I love Mary Glickman’s novels because she writes about little-known Jewish populations in the rural South, but always features cross-cultural love stories. In her first three novels, some of which I reviewed here (including one of my favorite photos with an author) and here, her main characters are Jewish and African American.
Her latest, however, isn’t part of her previous series and takes place during the 1830s Trail of Tears. An Undisturbed Peace (Open Road Media, 2016) is just as compelling as her other books.
Abrahan Sassaporta is a young Jewish man who arrived in the US from lower-class London to work for his uncle Isadore. Known as Abe in the US, he peddles goods door to door in rural North Carolina. No matter how much he sells, though, he cannot seem to pay off his debts to his uncle. These debts only grow when Isadore sends for Abe’s mother. Now Abe has to pay back that debt on top of his own.
Around that time, Abe meets a stunning native American named Dark Water who also goes by the Anglican name of Marian. She also spent time in England, where her father sent her to learn the ways of the white man so she would be primed to marry one upon her return. She had different ideas, however, and fell deep in love with a slave named Jacob.
Abe’s, Jacob’s, and Marian’s paths cross and their stories intertwine as Abe’s family places pressure on him to marry. Although Jews were outsiders in 1830s North Carolina, they didn’t tolerate intermarriage.
The story is gripping and tragic and Mary Glickman at her best. She’s a fabulous historical novelist, as she’s proven in her previous books. But what really makes them special are the love triangles and unrequited love stories. An Undisturbed Peace is just that and so much more.