BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY
Sweeping, epic, heart-wrenching and powerful, Skenandore’s debut plunges readers into the world of the mission schools in the American west. Skenandore has drawn on family history to create a realistic and gripping account of a forbidden friendship. This thought-provoking novel illuminates the plight of Native American children and the planned destruction of a culture and a people. It’s a well-written, carefully researched, compelling novel for anyone fascinated by this hidden piece of our history.
In 1906 Alma Mitchell reads of the murder of a Federal agent. It is the killer’s name that sends chills down her spine: Harry Muskrat (Asku), her childhood friend. Harry was one of the students at the Stover School run by her father. Alma never realized the purpose of the residential school was to strip the Natives of their culture — turning them into “model” citizens. Harry was the school’s prize pupil and Alma’s closest friend and first love. Alma cannot believe Harry could be a killer and she convinces her husband, lawyer Stewart Mitchell, to become his defense attorney. But the man Alma meets is not the boy she remembers. Alma is forced to face her memories, good and bad, and the secrets she has kept tightly hidden if she is to understand Harry’s decision. (KENSINGTON, May, 336 pp., $15.95)