4 out of 4 stars
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Tom Olsen and his friends who are Native American are packing for a camping trip when there is a knock at the door. When Tom opens it, he is confronted by his ex wife and a teenage girl. The girl claims that she is Tom’s granddaughter. Before he can call off the trip, his friend Walleye encourages Tom to take his newly found granddaughter on this trip. Tom believes the trek will be a disaster, but he reluctantly agrees. Throughout the trip grandfather and granddaughter bond. Can this trip give Tom the chance to make up for lost time and help him remember his late daughter?
Strong Heart is a great mix of mythology, modern culture, and mystery. It offers glimpses into the beliefs of the Native Americans in Washington, where the story takes place. Charlie Sheldon, the author, does a fantastic job at intertwining the troubles of land expansion and the imposition on sacred lands. The main characters discover family secrets that kept me guessing from the beginning to the very end.
The story does change times in places. Sheldon writes the time change as a story within a story and he does an excellent job. The way he starts of the time jump and the location of it allows the story to flow perfectly from one time and location to the other. The author does do some foreshadowing that builds up to the shift. Strong Heart is like a fine wine. It just gets better with age.
The characters grow throughout the book. Tom starts off dreading the time with his granddaughter Sarah, who starts off as a bratty withdrawn teenager. By the end they both change for the better. Most novellas, unlike Strong Heart, do not have such drastic character development. Sheldon does a fantastic job at developing such great characters in such a short amount of pages.
I give Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon 4 out of 4 stars. It is a great story riddled with mystery and myth. It is a great mix of history and modern cultures. Sheldon does a great job at organizing the storyline and having the characters learn and grow form their experiences. I could not put this book down. I will highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a heartwarming tale of human growth and family growth. The story ended in a way that seems like a sequel could be possible. I look forward to that possibility.
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