I struggled while reading this book, as the scenes where so bogged down with lengthy descriptions and the dialogue in the style of Shakespearean riddl...moreI struggled while reading this book, as the scenes where so bogged down with lengthy descriptions and the dialogue in the style of Shakespearean riddle. With a title that eludes to disappearance of the Mohican tribe, I was most drawn to the dilemma of sisters, Cora and Alice. In the midst of the French-Indian War the sisters, along with Duncan, Cora's fiance, are kidnapped while on the way to see their father Captain Munro at Fort William Henry. In fact the girls were falsely lured into making this trip by Magua, a native guide who is seeking vengeance. Hawkeye, a white man who lives with the Mohicans, and Chingachgook, the “last Mohician” come to their rescue, but once they reach the fort and find out their father really never sent for them the worst is yet to come.
The brutality of the William Henry Massacre was disturbing and haunted me. I remembered the senseless death of an infant over a colorful shawl worn by one of the evacuees of the Fort. When the mother and child are murdered, all hell brakes loose. Captain Munro while defending the fort with his men can't help his daughters escape and they are recaptured. Magua is the cruel captor of these sisters, but he is also a grieving father. His children were killed by Munro's men during an attack on his village.
As I said the story was very hard to follow with Cooper's style of writing. I reread many pages more than once and in the end only remember a few scenes well. I kept anxiously reading after seeing the movie and realized that the endings were totally different. In the book Cora dies after refusing to go with Magua to be his wife, and in the movie it is Alice who meets tragic end.
I haven't given up totally on "The Leatherstocking Tales" and since this is the second in Cooper's series, I may reread it again someday following book one.(less)
The story of the Comanche Indians and how they were forced to settle is told in bloody detail by S.C. Gwynne. I felt such sympathy for the Parker fami...moreThe story of the Comanche Indians and how they were forced to settle is told in bloody detail by S.C. Gwynne. I felt such sympathy for the Parker family, especially Cynthia Ann. I can imagine how hard it was for her to adjust to the Indian lifestyle. After witnessing unspeakable terrors and the massacre of family members, I'm inclined to believe that she had a memory loss due to trauma, or possibly was brainwashed by her captors. What a story to tell about how she lived as the White Squaw and later was “rescued” and brought back to live among Parker family members. She was exploited and suffered grief over losing her son. It is a shame she didn't live long enough to be reunited with him and to see his fame.
Quanah Parker became an Indian celebrity among white men and revered chief among his people. I was amazed at the strength and endurance of all the key players in this story. The Texas Rangers, settlers, and the many tribes of the Plains Indians lived in conflict for many years. At the time of my reading this book it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. I would certainly vote for it! This a fascinating read ... full of valuable information. (less)