EVERY FIXED STAR
The Tender Ties Historical Series #2
"The whole thing reads thusly…'He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Psalm 147:4.' It means that to God, you are as precious as every fixed star in the sky. He calls you by name, Marie." So explains the printer to Marie, the Ioway Indian woman whose journey towards hearing and grasping this simple truth provides the theme for this absorbing story.
EVERY FIXED STAR by Jane Kirkpatrick, the second book in a trilogy that began with A NAME OF HER OWN, is not merely the retelling of the migration west. Rather, it parallels the life of Marie Dorion to the struggles and adventures experienced by those brave pioneers who came in every size, shape, color and creed, with motives ranging from noble to nefarious. What a task for both the original protagonists and for the writer who accepts the challenge to write it down for us.
This phase of the journey begins after Marie has lost her husband and first-born daughter to the wilderness that the family had set out to conquer. She finds herself an outsider in encampment, where she alone is responsible to pay off her husband's debts and for the survival of herself and her two sons. There are no credit cards, no food stamps --- only a knife given to her by Sacagawea with which to gut and dress a fallen doe so that the children can eat during the difficult winter.
EVERY FIXED STAR offers enrichment on many levels. There are words of wisdom that are spoken by both Natives and Christians who try to help Marie on her journey. Her Chipewyan friend, Sarah, tells her, "Regret is the robe grief hands you. It promises warmth but gives only weight. It is woman's work to turn regret into something of worth."
There are the questions raised by Marie's unconditional love for her sons and her lack of skill to communicate that love, a lack of communication that leads the boys to have skewed perceptions of their mother --- and each one deals with his feelings in ways that wound her over and over.
And though there are the two strong, brave men who love Marie, accept her as she is and provide her support, still there is always the underlying theme, "You don't trust the good things that happen to you, eh?" She cannot see her worth; she does not understand her purpose and must struggle to accept even the smallest of gifts.
EVERY FIXED STAR will delight you with pictures of love, bravery, struggles and triumphs, all painted on a historically accurate canvas. Sit back and enjoy the many gifts that are given in this beautifully written book.
--- Reviewed by Maggie Harding, who is a substance abuse counselor in Phoenix, AZ. Her reviews can be heard every Wednesday on BookCrazy.net. To contact Maggie, e-mail Magster2@cox.net.
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