Citizens Creek, the newest novel by New York Times best-selling author Lalita Tademy, is the featured Genealogy Gems Book Club title for the last quarter of 2015. In December, we will bring you an exclusive interview with the author. Why not start reading now?

Citizens creek cover book club logo2We are pleased to announce the newest Genealogy Gems Book Club selection: Citizens Creek, a new novel by New York Times best-selling author Lalita Tademy.

Some of you have probably read her previous novels, Cane River and the sequel Red River. Cane River  was an Oprah Book Club selection. I read these a few years ago and really enjoyed them. So I was really excited when I heard she had a new novel out. And even more excited when she said she’d be happy to join us on an upcoming Genealogy Gems podcast to talk about the book!

Citizens Creek is a novel, but it’s based on the lives of real people. The publisher describes it as “the evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage.” Here’s more to whet your appetite:

“Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the ability to master languages. As the new country developed westward, and Indians, settlers, and blacks came into constant contact, Cow Tom became a key translator for his Creek master and was hired out to US military generals. His talent earned him money—but would it also grant him freedom? And what would become of him and his family in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Indian Removal westward?

“Cow Tom’s legacy lives on—especially in the courageous spirit of his granddaughter Rose. She rises to leadership of the family as they struggle against political and societal hostility intent on keeping blacks and Indians oppressed. But through it all, her grandfather’s indelible mark of courage inspires her—in mind, in spirit, and in a family legacy that never dies.

“Written in two parts portraying the parallel lives of Cow Tom and Rose, Citizens Creek is a beautifully rendered novel that takes the reader deep into a little known chapter of American history. It is a breathtaking tale of identity, community, family—and above all, the power of an individual’s will to make a difference.”

We first considered this book for the Genealogy Gems Book Club because of the compelling history. As I started reading, I realized that this book was all about family, relationships and legacy. The experiences of one generation shape them and deeply affect future generations. Specifically we as readers see how Cow Tom’s grand-daughter, living after the time of slavery, looks back on her grandfather’s life for inspiration, support and guidance, even while trying to keep his deepest secret.

Click here to purchase Citizens Creek in hardcover, paperback, Kindle and even as an Audible or MP3 file for those of you who like to listen to books. We thank you for using our links when you purchase anything we recommend. You support free Genealogy Gems programming and content, like the Genealogy Gems podcast, website and videos on our YouTube channel.

The Genealogy Gems Book Club is our free, no-commitment online book club. Every 3 months, we share a favorite history and family-themed book: fiction and non-fiction, best-sellers and lesser-known titles. During the third month, the author joins us to chat about his or her book from the point of view of someone who {hearts} family history. Click here to see other titles we’ve recommended.

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