Cut off from his community and traumatized by war, he finds refuge in another tribal village there and fathers a child with another woman. When he returns home many years later, he finds his tribe in conflict over a decision to hunt a whale, a spiritual symbol for his people.
Torn by guilt, yet desperate to return to a life of authenticity, Thomas realizes he must reconcile his two existences if he is to help heal his equally fractured community.
With a keen sense of the sacredness of nature and the trauma of war, People of the Whale is a compassionate novel about the painful moral choices humans make and how the lost soul of a man or a people is restored.
©2008 Linda Hogan; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
This book came recommended to me by a friend who knew I loved ethnic history, poetry, whales, octopi and a good story. It was based on this, and not the 2.5 stars that it received that led me to it. Over lunch, my friend and I have discussed the poorer reviews.
Like Water for Chocolate, myth and relality become indistinguishable. The story reads like poetry and Stefan Rudnicki, the reader has a voice that draws you to the campfire and leads you into the tale; both are very poetic. I am, at 60 years old, probably the age of Thomas, who went to VietNam as a young man. This is the first Vietnamese war story that opened my eyes to the people of the jungle, the tribal people and their struggles. Balancing these people with the people of the whale of the West Coast American Indians painted a struggle that is within us all; nature and self preservation.
I feel like a more complete person having experienced this audible book. I am glad that I listened to it as opposed to just reading the words. The pictures in my head, from the reader were like a painting.
Always looking for a book with a different twist and this one has it - combining old with the new. It contrast the life of native people with the new younger generation that has no respect for the old ways - the twist to the book - the Vietnam war and how that has changed the people and their ways. Good story line and good characters - but it drags in the middle - could have been cut by an hour or so - glad I listened to it - but would not listen to it again.
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