I am not sure I have used the word enthralled to describe how I felt about a book in a very long time but in this case it is an understatement. I loved it, I didn't want it to end and I will miss these characters.
I, like many women, am so excited when I find a book with the story of a woman who is strong, captivating and intelligent. It makes me sit up and say "yes, these are the women I know, the women I want my daughters to be, the women I want my granddaughters to read about. I found it here within the pages of Cedar Woman.
The story revolves around a native American woman who builds her life on her love of family, her culture, religion, faith and most of all belief in herself. The lovely part of this story is that it doesn't matter if your beliefs center around the burning of sage or the smell of incense on Sunday morning, The Great Spirit or The Trinity it is easy to understand the role faith plays in this story. But I would not consider this a religious book. It is a book of strength and character but gives us a beautiful insight into the native American religious beliefs.
Since so many have already done a synopsis of the story within their reviews I am going to concentrate on the writing and the flow of the story.
Ms. Welch has not only given us characters to believe in, she has made them believable. Not always an easy task. Lena is a woman you can sit down at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee and talk about life, men, children, family and the goings on of your neighborhood. She would be a friend you could count on. When an author creates someone who touches your heart and makes you feel at home with you know you are reading a skillfully created novel.
The writing flows with ease and style, keeping the reader engaged and moving forward without having to look back to see what was missed. The dialogue is realistic and moves the story forward at the correct pacing blending in with the narration effortlessly.
We are given a dictionary at the end of the novel for explanation of native words which was helpful but for most of the time the words were added so well within the context of the sentences they were self-explanatory. I found the native American words to be fun and interesting with a chance to learn some new phrases to add to my everyday speech.
Also, as a bonus, there are several recipes at the end of the book that look delicious. I have a none-too-secret love of fry bread so I am going to try it at home.
This is a book we recommend highly and will be asking our friends, neighbors and daughters to read. Not only for the wonderful story but also for the educational value. We have read dozens of books with Native American culture but this is one of the few that have brought it to life with so much finesse'.
Karen Bryant Doering,
Parent's Little Black Book