4 out of 4 stars
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How do you react when a teenage granddaughter you never knew you had, shows up on your doorstep? This recent turn of events puts a dent in Tom's plans to visit his grandfather's gravesite in Olympic National Park. Accompanied by his old friend, William, and William's daughter, Myra, the group hesitantly decide to bring Sarah along with them.
Sarah has arrived with a fair share of psychological baggage. Both of her parents are dead and her step-father has shipped her off to live with relatives. She's not happy about her new surroundings in 'the boonies', and less excited about the upcoming hiking and camping trip. But Myra tries to convince Sarah that the Olympic Peninsula is a land of magic, history, and legend.
Many decades earlier, Tom and his grandfather made this same journey into the park. His grandfather had brought Tom here to show him something very important, but never got the opportunity. An ancient artifact is all Tom has left and he intends to return it to remain with his grandfather's spirit. Little do they know, this will turn out to be a camping trip no one in the group will soon forget. Sarah, upset with Tom, runs off and gets lost in the wilderness. And just how far is Buckhorn International willing to go to pursue their mining and extracting plans? Should the group be concerned for their safety?
I loved this enchanting tale about Native American Indians and the origins of modern man, and I give it 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed the transformation of Sarah from a naive child to a much wiser young adult. Her experience and the tale she tells bring up a question of trust and belief with her grandfather and friends. I believed Sarah, and I believe she gained not only wisdom but a knowledge and skill set from her ancient descendants.
I have always been a fan of Native American culture. Theirs are beliefs that have always made good sense to me. I found it especially touching to read about the reverence exhibited in the building of the pyres for their deceased and lighting them on fire to release their spirit. Everything is done with forethought, skill, and gratitude.
The characters in this book displayed many commendable qualities. Myra is headstrong in her beliefs and determination to work for her people. William is extremely pragmatic and his strength of character and resolve to complete the voyage are admirable. As a whole, the characters play off of each other in a most endearing way.
As geography is not my strong suit, I sometimes became lost in the traversing of the terrain. However, by the same token, I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the beautiful trails and landscapes the characters covered in their travels. The ending will leave you with more questions than answers but I've never found this to be bothersome. I found no errors in editing which made for smooth, enjoyable reading.
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