Author: Linda Hogan
Genre: Adult Literary Fiction
Summary: When sixteen-year-old Omishto, a member of the Taiga Tribe, witnesses her Aunt Ama kill a panther-an animal considered to be a sacred ancestor of the Taiga people-she is suddenly torn between her loyalties to her Westernized mother, who wants her to reject the ways of the tribe, and to Ama and her traditional people, for whom the killing of the panther takes on grave importance.
My Rating: 1/2
Our story follows young Omishto and the events that take place during an unexpected Hurricane. Omishto belongs to the Taiga Tribe, set in the swamps of South Florida, this small and dying tribe has few members in the reservation. Her mother, a born again Christian, expects certain things of her but Omishto is drawn to the ways of her ancestors and to her Aunt Ama who follows the spirit world. One day while visiting Ama a hurricane unexpectedly hits the area and Ama and Omishto are caught in the storm. Both are supremely shaken and Ama goes into a sort of trance and begins a hunt which Omishto follows for miles into the swamp. They kill an endangered panther and thus the world around Omishto begins unraveling.
This could have been a brilliant book, this book could’ve shook my world but it was so incredibly dense, slow-paced, packed with repetitive sentiment and unnecessarily prolonged scenes that it bogged down the entire story. The ‘hunt’ that takes place in a couple of hours takes 25 pages to tell and I know that Logan (she herself is Chickasaw) wanted to instill in the reader a sense of appreciation of the land, the history and the people but it made me skim the text because it was an endless journey.
This book is highly, highly literary – it is in love with itself and with its language and it is evident. I longed for the story, I wanted the story but there was so much extra that the story was muddled within the extraness. The last 30% of the book was far better – it was evocative and moving and it came together wonderfully so I more than liked it but I have a hard time seeing myself rereading this piece and knowing I have to waddle through that first half.
If you enjoy dense literary pieces I highly recommend this but go in knowing what you will get and that it is for you.