The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens and Ghosts
by Tiya Miles
Publication Date: Jun 13, 2023
List Price: $18.00
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Imprint: Random House
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
Three women uncover the secrets of a Georgia plantation that embodies the intertwined histories of Indigenous and enslaved Black communities—the fascinating debut novel, inspired by a true story, of the National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of All That She Carried, now featuring a new introduction.
“Poignant and essential storytelling.”—Jason Mott, National Book Award–winning author of Hell of a Book
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST
When one of her regular readers takes issue with her weekly history column, Jinx Micco, a free-spirited Muscogee (Creek) tribal historian, can’t get the criticism out of her head. Soon she finds herself on the road from Oklahoma to the Hold House, a nineteenth-century plantation home in Georgia originally owned by the Cherokee Chief James Hold, to track down the long-forgotten mystery of what happened to a tribal member who stayed behind after the United States instituted a policy of Indian Removal.
There, she meets Ruth, visiting the plantation on a magazine assignment, and Cheyenne, a Southern Black debutante seeking to connect with her family’s history by purchasing the whole estate. Hovering above them all is the spirit of the long-gone Mary Ann Battis, a young woman suspected of burning a mission to the ground and then disappearing from tribal records. As Jinx and Ruth are drawn closer together, they challenge Cheyenne to look more deeply at the home she has purchased, and when they discover a diary left on the property by a Moravian missionary that reveals the house’s dark history, the three women’s personal connections and resonances with the place grow deeper. Cheyenne is forced to reconsider whether she is the only rightful owner of the property, Jinx reexamines her assumptions about her tribe’s racial history after learning Mary Ann’s story, and the pain of the past leads Ruth to confront her own family’s traumas and then surprise herself by falling into a new romance.
Imbued with a deeply nuanced understanding of the intertwined histories of Indigenous and African Americans and an underappreciated aspect of Southern history, The Cherokee Rose brings the past beautifully to life as Jinx, Ruth, and Cheyenne discover truths and unravel mysteries with powerful consequences for them all.