Saturday, May 24, 2008

[Book Review] CHILD OF THE DEAD by Don Coldsmith


Linda Scott reviews CHILD OF THE DEAD by Don Coldsmith (Doubleday, 1995)

Running Deer, the elder matriarch of a band of the western Great Plains Indians, is grieving the recent death of her husband and despairs of any reason to live. As her people make their journey home from the annual Sun Dance tribal gathering, they encounter the deserted village of another tribe and the remains of its residents, who have succumbed to smallpox plague, which arrived with European settlers. A small girl, sick with the disease, is the only one alive and she is not expected to live. Running Deer sees this situation as an opportunity for a noble death and makes a decision to stay behind with the child, fully expecting that they both would die. Against all odds, she and the girl, Gray Mouse, survive the disease, and their bond of love strengthens them to meet even more of life’s challenges.

Linda Scott, Bartlett Branch Library

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