Quiet Until the Thaw

Quiet Until the Thaw

A Novel

Book - 2017
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Two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, though bound by blood and by land, find themselves at odds as they grapple with the implications of their shared heritage. When escalating anger towards the injustices, historical and current, inflicted upon the Lakota people by the federal government leads to tribal divisions and infighting, the cousins go in separate directions: Rick chooses the path of peace; You Choose, violence. Years pass, and as You Choose serves time in prison, Rick finds himself raising twin baby boys, orphaned at birth, in his meadow. As the twins mature from infants to young men, Rick immerses the boys within their ancestry, telling wonderful and terrible tales of how the whole world came to be, and affirming their place in the universe as the result of all who have come before and will come behind. But when You Choose returns to the reservation after three decades behind bars, his anger manifests, forever disrupting the lives of Rick and the boys.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2017.
ISBN: 9780735223349
Characteristics: 269 pages ; 22 cm


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Oct 25, 2017

What a weird book. I was hoping for a story of a modern Indian teaching his sons the old ways. What I got was a very disjointed array of short stories put together to form a longer story. Rick Overlooking Horse and the two boys had a very small part in the book. Even though I didn't care much for the book, it did have some deep thoughts and small kernels of wisdom sprinkled throughout. It also had a sarcastic humor to it and the chapter titles were amusing. Luckily, the short, choppy chapters made for quick reading so I could finish and move on to something better. Can't recommend this one.

Aug 12, 2017

A novel about two men on the Lakota Sioux reservation with an unflinching look at the good the bad and the ugly of reservation life. Having lived on a reservation it seemed to me to be realistic. The author born in England and lived on a farm in the south of Africa has written wonderful memoirs of her life, questions abound about whether this is "appropriation" of the American Indian Story.

AnnabelleLee27 Jul 25, 2017

It should be pointed out upfront that this novel set on the Sioux Pine Ridge Reservation about Native Americans is written by a non-native woman. There is vigorous & passionate debate about the appropriateness of a white person creating characters from another culture and whether doing so is an arrogant act of cultural appropriation or if such fiction can be done with an empathy that connects and bridges humans from different cultures. How the reader feels about this issue will greatly impact how they view this book.
Apart from that issue, this short novel is a strange, touching, funny, and tragic tale told in sparse and provocative prose. It is written in a nontraditional manner using very short segments told from various perspectives and moving through time in a cyclical manner. The result is an intriguing and haunting story.


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