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Publisher's Summary

Nineteen-year-old Cowney Sequoyah yearns to escape his hometown of Cherokee, North Carolina, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. When a summer job at Asheville's luxurious Grove Park Inn and Resort brings him one step closer to escaping the hills that both cradle and suffocate him, he sees it as an opportunity. With World War II raging in Europe, the inn is the temporary home of Axis diplomats and their families, who are being held as prisoners of war. Soon, Cowney's refuge becomes a cage when the daughter of one of the residents goes missing and he finds himself accused of abduction and murder.

Even as We Breathe invokes the elements of bone, blood, and flesh as Cowney navigates difficult social, cultural, and ethnic divides. After leaving the seclusion of the Cherokee reservation, he is able to explore a future free from the consequences of his family's choices and to construct a new worldview, for a time. However, prejudice and persecution in the white world of the resort eventually compel Cowney to free himself from larger forces that hold him back as he struggles to unearth evidence of his innocence and clear his name.

©2020 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Even as We Breathe

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Must Read

Thought provoking! Humbling! I will never look at the Smokey Mountains and Asheville the same again.

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A new perspective on Appalachian history

Well written and well performed. A unique look at a point in time when cultures collided out of fear and unknowing. Seen through the eyes of a young native boy struggling to make sense of it all.
I look forward to meeting the author when she visits Sparta, NC in September!

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Beautifully written

A beautifully written story about growing up Cherokee in Cherokee, North Carolina in the post war 1940’s combined with a mystery involving the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville.