©2008 Karl H. Schlesier; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"A satisfying, ethnographically detailed coming-of-age novel." (Kirkus Reviews)
Like the Trail of Tears and Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, this is a little known story that needs to be heard by more Americans. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genre and the author does a good job telling this story from the perspective of a boy who becomes a man/warrior on the 1,200 mile journey of some 800 men women and children forced to flee their homes with over 1,000 U.S. Calvary troops in pursuit.
Though the author touches on the enormous physical suffering of these people during those months of forced travel, I think he could have done more through character development to search into the minds and hearts of the individual characters, that would have expressed the torturous agony of having one's home and entire way of life stolen by a government that repeatedly lied and broke promises in order to manipulate a fundamentally peaceful population of Native Americans.
I have read a few history books on the subject and found that the author was generally accurate on most accounts. In fact I found the epilogue to be one of the most intriguing parts of the book as he gave me some added knowledge as to what happened to the 100 or so people who escaped being captured on that tragic day.
I only have one nit picky complaint about the reader and that is his repeated mispronunciation of the work Lapwai (putting the accent on the 1st syllable instead of the second). All in all I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Nez Perce band or in Native American studies in general.
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