Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Pale Indian by Robert Arthur Alexie

I was pleasantly surprised with this novel.  The Pale Indian is a great outlook at what could be described as a common story, of identity and love and tragedy for Native Americans.  

Robert Alexie writes about a Native named John Daniel, who was adopted off of his home Indian Territory in Canada.  He and his sister went to live with a white couple.  Here lies the new challenges for these young native children.  They are thrown into white, or more accurate, "dominant" society.  This was awkward for John as he was trying to keep his/her cultural identity in an atmosphere that made him feel alien, an outsider.  

John was taken from his mother at age 11, so he had the memories of life as an Indian in Canada.  He was able to live a life of somewhat calm after his adoption.  He still had his sister, and always vowed never return to his Native home.  Yet, as an adult, John  found himself drawn back to his ancestral home looking for work.  

John eventually became more comfortable, and made connections with family and formed new friendships, especially with one young lady named Tina.  Tina would become a love that John was convinced would last a lifetime.  Fate and Circumstance would have other plans for the couple.  These two star crossed lovers found that the ending to their romance was final.  There would be no chance for reconciliation, nor rekindling.  The twist and turn that this book leads the reader down is heartbreaking, and all too common, for many natives who find themselves wrenched away from home.  Family is lost, and in this case found, in the most heartbreaking of tales.  This book had me captivated from beginning to end.  Highly recommend  ****

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