Standing Against The Wind

A Dying Truth Exposed, Book Two

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
375 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

I had the pleasure of reading Marcus Abston’s Bloodlines, the first book in his A Dying Truth Exposed series, just over a month ago. I was delighted to find out recently that I didn’t have to wait too long to see what was next in store for the beautiful slave girl, Annabelle. Her story stole my heart in Bloodlines as she fled from her sexually abusive white master. Now, in Standing Against the Wind, Annabelle once again finds herself more fortunate than many black slaves, thanks to the protection afforded her by a kindly family of Cherokee Native Americans. Yet, despite the kindness Annabelle is shown, survival and acceptance by the entire Cherokee community isn’t a smooth ride. Some of the Cherokee also employ slaves and don’t approve of her new family granting her full freedom. Then there is the continuing threat of the white men who check up on and remain biased against both the Cherokees and the black slaves.

As Abston tells Annabelle’s latest story, we are treated to not only touching details of family love and several romances but also to a fascinating insight into how African American and Native American interracial marriages might have occurred. Along the way, we also learn about the strong contrasts between white, black, and native races regarding religious and spiritual beliefs. It is interesting to see how each race explains its positions and how some adopted the practices and beliefs of the other, while some never could or would. I must say that one of the truths that struck me most was that when it came to the treatment of both the Native American and black slaves by white Christians, too many of these Christians preached, but didn’t practice what Jesus taught.

While these two books in Marcus Abston’s series would be enjoyed by readers of any age, in so many respects the ideal audience is older school children. What a wonderful way for young adults to learn about lesser-known aspects of America’s past! Like Bloodlines, Standing Against the Wind is comprised of short, vignette-style chapters. Abston has beautifully woven these together through an engaging plot. The result is a novel that is easy to read, moves quickly with plenty of dialogue, has a large, colorful cast of characters, and offers several instances of clean, romantic young love. In short, there is much to like, enjoy and learn about in Standing Against the Wind.

Rabia Tanveer

Standing Against The Wind is the second novel in the Dying Truth Exposed series by Marcus Abston. The story of Annabelle continues as she faces new challenges that threaten her newfound peace, after running away from Master Brown and Missouri. Thanks to Samuel and John, Annabelle was able to enter the Indian Territory safely. They introduce her to Grace and a new chapter in Annabelle’s life begins. Being accepted as a Cherokee was tough, but one thing Annabelle had learned as a slave was never to give up. She kept her head held high, learned their ways of life, and did her best to become part of the community. With the Indian Agents hot on her trail, Annabelle had to do something quickly, or else her freedom would be lost forever.

I was surprised by Annabelle's gentleness. It was as if she did not know she could be angry or even express her emotions anymore. The scene where she clutched her Bible and The Three Musketeers was heartbreaking. Losing her children broke something in her, but the fire inside her remained. I also loved Elder Joyce - serious and sassy, she had me laughing out loud at times. I found Grace and Annabelle to be kindred spirits. They were both fiery women, determined and headstrong to prove the world wrong. John was exactly what Annabelle needed to feel centered in all the chaos. Culture, family, and religion were strong themes in the story, and they served to give a confidence boost to Annabelle. I loved how Annabelle slowly regained peace, confidence, and got her fire back as the story progressed. In Standing Against The Wind, Marcus Abston once again did a phenomenal job!

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Prejudice knows no nation, as readers will discover in Standing Against The Wind: A Dying Truth Exposed by Marcus Abston. The whites enslaved people of color, and the Cherokee took others as their slaves and forbade intermarriages between two people of different ethnic backgrounds. Annabelle escaped one form of slavery and hid with a Cherokee family on the western plains. Already an educated woman, well beyond what one would expect of a former slave, Annabelle embraced the Cherokee language, history, and culture and fell in love with one of theirs. But the Cherokees would not grant her and John a marriage license as they would not recognize Annabelle, a former slave, as a member of the Cherokee Nation. While she struggles with the evils from her past that continue to haunt her, Annabelle must face another form of prejudice. But she’s a strong and determined woman, and she will see this challenge through as she has done with all the other trials she’s faced in the past. Annabelle’s battle to survive threatens her faith in God.

Marcus Abston’s historical novel Standing Against The Wind is the second book in the series. The author is well versed in history as well as his ancestral native heritage. The plot follows one escaped slave, Annabelle, as she seeks to carve a new life for herself hidden amongst the Cherokees. Burying her past horrors are not so easy as she’s faced with new dilemmas that threaten her happiness and well-being. The book begins and ends with a brief interchange amongst Annabelle’s descendants as they share her story. The story unravels as a classic tale told by an expert ancestral storyteller. Some truths are difficult to believe, but the author leaves nothing unexposed as he allows his story to encompass the multiple forms of prejudice that have haunted many nations since the beginning of time. The story is told mostly in a narrative, but the dialogue used is engaging and certainly helps move the story along. This was an educational and entertaining read.