Monday, March 24, 2014

A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare, a review


About the Book(from back cover):

Can a quilt bridge the gap between two cultures?

After her husband is killed, Frankie Chasing Bear wants a fresh start, a new way of life.  But in 1951, that's not easy, especially for a Lakota woman.  Frankie quickly leans that raising her son, Harold, to revere his Lakota heritage will be a challenge in the white man's world.

Searching for a way for her son to respect his ancestors but also embrace a future of opportunity, she beings a Lakota Star-pattern quilt -- something that will not let him forget where he came from.  As she tells him, "A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars."

But Frankie's determination is not without trouble.  Federal Agent Nick Parker, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust.  he's not a true Lakota-- and he's Christian.  Will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient for her son's quilt -- and life itself?



About the Author: 

Linda S. Clare is an award-winning author of books, essays, short stories, and poems.  She edits and mentors writers and is a frequent conference speaker and church retreat leader.  She anther husband have four grown children. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their three wayward cats.




My take on the book:

So far, I have really enjoyed the Quilts of Love books that I have read.  Unfortunately, this one was not my favorite.  For some reason, I just couldn't really get into the book... it didn't draw me in and actually at times irritated me.

If I skimmed over the parts that irritated me (the constant mention of Frankie putting her hand in front of her face as was Lakota tradition or the constant mention of Nick being a half-breed and not truly a Lakota), then the book is really good.

The story line itself is good... a young Lakota and widowed mother of one wants to be the best mom and give her son the best life he can have and she can give him. She attends the local Indian school and works in the kitchen while Harold goes to the Indian school as well.  As she struggles through the day-to-day life of a Native American living in the white man's world, she remembers the words of her grandmother, "A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars."  With these words in her thoughts and her grandmother's faith and Lakota traditions on her mind, she works on a Lakota Star Quilt for her son.

Nick is a half-breed and he feels it.  He struggles with his father's demons-- the bottle and anger, that became his own and trying to fit in the white man's world as well.  As with anyone with a mixed ethnic heritage, Nick doesn't know where he belongs or how he can honor both ethnicities/heritages.  When he meets Frankie Chasing Bear, his heart feels a pull, but after being burned in a first marriage, he isn't sure he wants anything to do with her.

How can Frankie raise her son to be proud of his heritage, but also make more of his life than to be a drunk like his father?  How does Nick stay sober while being a go-between for the Native Americans and the federal government. And where does GOD fit into it all??

As I said, a good story-line and an enjoyable read.

Check it out here:  http://www.amazon.com/Sky-Without-Stars-Quilts-Series/dp/1426752792

http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/a-sky-without-stars-linda-clare



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