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Winterkill (1984)

by Craig Lesley

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1882142,806 (4.05)3
Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award From the two-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award: a deeply moving and evocative novel of fathers and sons. Danny Kachiah is a Native American fighting not to become a casualty. His father, Red Shirt, is dead; his wife, Loxie, has left him, and his career as a rodeo cowboy is flagging. But when Loxie dies in a car wreck, leaving him with his son, Jack, whom he hardly knows, Danny uses the magnificent stories of Red Shirt to guide him toward true fatherhood. Together, Danny and Jack begin to make a life from the dreams of yesterday and the ruins of today's northwestern reservations.… (more)
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Winterkill is an impressive debut novel. What I enjoyed most about the book was Lesley's use of the Nez Perce history and the way in which the land plays such a prominent role in the narrative. Many times, especially with the son Jack, the dialogue read a bit cheesy and superficial. Overall this is a tightly constructed story and I will definitely be reading more of Lesley's work. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
This is one of those books that make my heart glad that I know how to read; and why I love reading. It reads like a song; a beautiful one about fathers and sons, the love of stories, traditions and history.

Winterkill makes it clear there are individuals blessed with good parents, teachers or mentors, and life experiences who understand the richness of life, its ebb and flow, human weakness, strength and potential. These people continue the examples they learned by caring about others, as well as the environment, recognizing and honoring the physical and spiritual aspects of our world, respecting animals they hunt for food or clothing, and through everyday choices they make.

Craig Lesley's Danny Kachiah, of the Nez Perce tribe, is one such individual. Imperfect, but always learning and improving. Danny remembers and misses his father, appreciating what Red Shirt taught him and how he raised Danny. Danny recalls many of the old tribal ceremonies, happy and sad narratives, and many adventures from his father, grandfather and other Nez Perce Indians who knew his father. Danny understood that life was dangerous and difficult for the Nez Perce as with most Native American tribes, but like other close knit communities they shared food from hunts and looked after each other.

Danny is now raising his teenage son, Jack, using his experience, wisdom and love to protect, teach and support the next generation.

Excellent book. ( )
  Bookish59 | Mar 15, 2016 |
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for Katheryn Ann Stavrakis
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Danny Kachiah pulled his hat tight, kicked his left foot free of the stirrup, and hunched forward in the saddle.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award From the two-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award: a deeply moving and evocative novel of fathers and sons. Danny Kachiah is a Native American fighting not to become a casualty. His father, Red Shirt, is dead; his wife, Loxie, has left him, and his career as a rodeo cowboy is flagging. But when Loxie dies in a car wreck, leaving him with his son, Jack, whom he hardly knows, Danny uses the magnificent stories of Red Shirt to guide him toward true fatherhood. Together, Danny and Jack begin to make a life from the dreams of yesterday and the ruins of today's northwestern reservations.

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