Reaching across time,
This review is from: Ledfeather (Paperback)
This is a very peculiar book. It tells not one, but two stories.
One story is about Doby Saxon, a boy on the Blackfeet reservation. A boy slowly sliding down a decline, and willing to go that way. And the second story is about Frances Delimpere, an Indian Agent who lived in the same place some 150 years before Doby. It's the story of how these two young men come in contact, of how their lives so far apart (and for so many reasons) finally touch, redeeming one another.
Lives that reach out across time is maybe not a new idea, but I like the way the author use it his own way, in a particular place - the reservation - that seems to have a power of its own.
The style Jones chooses to tell this story is also very peculiar. Especially in the first half, he plays with the point of view in a way that creates maybe some confusion (at least until you don't sort it out) but helps bringing down the walls we're used to have around us when we read a story, the same way he will then bring down the walls of time.
Still, I think I could have enjoyed the book even better if the style hadn't be so odd. In a way, it felt mannered and that sort of created a barrier between me and the story. Jones' voice is also very unusual, which is not a problem in itself. I got used to it after a few pages. But combining unusual point of view with unusual voice made it for a hard read in places. The middle part of the story, which is quite dreamlike, was particularly hard for me, not because I found it difficult to follow, but because it seemed to go round and round and never come to the point. I honestly think the book could have been shorter and not lose anything.
In spite of this, I'm still curious about this author and I think I'll try others of his stories.
I enjoyed the acknowledgements a lot. I know this sounds strange, but there I heard his voice clearer than in the story... maybe because it was less stylized?