By Gerard LaSalle
Welcome to the latest edition of the Sunday Scoop! I am just back home after a trip to Gettysburg, P.A., Washington D.C., and Pine City, N.Y.. It was a very busy week. I am reading a Civil War book now, so look for that review in the future. Today’s book is a great book that is nominated for a 2013 Indie Award for Historical Fiction. It has a beautiful cover with a specially designed Indian symbol. You can read more about the symbol on his website.
This book is a new release for May 2013 from Greenleaf Book Group. I obtained this book as an ebook for my kindle from NetGalley. This is Gerard’s first novel. He is already planning a sequel call Isthmus.
This book is based on real life events. It takes place in the wilds of British Columbia in 1858. Emmy Evers is left a widow on Whidbey Island when native Indians kill her husband Isaac. If that wasn’t bad enough the Indians also steal her son. Emmy is used to running her home alone on the frontier and she is very independent. She is a woman on a mission to find her son, Jacob. She boards a ship and seeks out General Pickett (yes the American civil war general) for help, but he refuses to help her. He is there to resolve a conflict with the British. The British and American armies are vying for control of the land and the aboriginal people there. He sends her to an Indian friend, MaNuitu ‘sta. MaNuitu ‘sta states that his son JoJo will be her guide if she teaches him to read English. She accepts the challenge.
Emmy takes a dangerous journey along the pacific coast with a guide into Indian territory to look for Jacob. There are headhunting savage Indians and Indians who capture whites for slaves. There is to be a big potlatch. This is a big celebration for the marriage of Amawaal’s son of the Tsimshan tribe. Potlatch means to give. There will be an exchange and sale of goods. Jacob will be taken there by the natives for sale. What will Emmy do when negotiations to buy her son back fail?
I really liked this book. The chapters were short and well thought out. The story telling shifts from person to person, but it is a smooth transition and not confusing. I finished the book in a couple of days. It has maps of the area on the inside flaps of the dust jacket. There is a wealth of information about the local Indian tribes, the Haida, Tslinget, Squamish and others. In The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland I was introduced to many of these native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. The information in the book reminded me of the travels of Emily Carr the painter. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.