“A rare insight into the dilemma of an adolescent caught between two cultures.”



Such a beautiful book, I’m inspired to write my first review.

The story is written from the point of view of Joe, a thirteen year old only child growing up on a North Dakota reservation in the Eighties. It tells the story of his life over the year that follows the violent rape of his mother. It explores the relationships between Joe and his father (A tribal judge), his friends and his extended family so convincingly it is easy to forget the book was written by a grown woman! It’s a really interesting look into reservation life and the troubled relationship between the Native Americans and the White men. It’s shocking to learn to what extent they were still being treated like lesser citizens in their own country even in relatively modern times.

It becomes clear at times in the book that Joe is telling the story as an adult as it refers to some of the choices he made based on the year following his mother’s rape and the far reaching consequences. I found it a little tricky at first as it is written with no quotation marks when characters are speaking, just long sentences.

Just a perfect mix of descriptive writing, spellbinding storytelling and vividly portrayed characters. I particularly loved the Native folk tales weaved throughout the story by Joe’s Grandfather, Mooshum.

I will be reading more of the author’s books, a truly gifted writer!


Reviewed by:

Leah Nayar

Added 21st June 2015

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Leah Nayar