Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past.
This spare generational novel presents Rayona, Christine and ``Aunt'' Ida, Native American mothers and daughters bonded by blood and secrets. PW found that this masterful debut, by a Dartmouth professor of Native American studies and the husband-collaborator of Louise Erdrich, ``glows with compassion and integrity.'' (April)