This book reached me at exactly the right time in my life.
I have a Grandfather I never met who was a Korean War veteran, and we are only beginning to have his stories told.
I have a whole family lineage that I know virtually nothing about, and I can't seem to get straight answers to my inquiries.
Like Dee, I just want to know who I came from, because I think it would tell me a bit about who I am.
I really enjoyed reading about Dee's hunger for identity, for belonging, for something bigger and interconnected, beyond her own existence.
Somedays there is this powerful urge to know what country my grandparents came from, what ethnicities are mingled in my heritage, what kind of blood flows in my veins. I want to know whose eyes I have, and whose hands, and whose personality mine resembles. My immediate family is not enough... I crave multigenerational knowledge and fellowship.
This story begins with grandmother Leora's death, which leaves her daughter Dolores and granddaughter Valerie with unfinished business and unanswered questions. Dolores is a war widow, who never really explored her own soul and relationship to God. Valerie is a college student, feeling the winds of change under her newly opened wings. Both of them long to know where they belong and who they are, and both are at different stages of understanding.
The tension between them is another wedge that they both resent and don't know how to remove.
Oh, this is an excellent book! A journey into the past, into tangled relationships, into Basque culture and history.
Back to their roots and into the future all at once.
And there's much worth pondering in this novel. Dee and Valerie learn lessons in such an organic, imperfect, and real way.
As Father Mike says, we all need to live with Love- the I Corinthians 13 Love, and when we see family and community we need to reach out and make them our own.
Thank you to Sydney Avey and Bookcrash for my review copy. I hope to read more of your work!
Sydney Avey lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a lifetime of experience writing news for non profits and corporations. Her work is featured or forthcoming in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Forge Journal and American Athenaeum. Sydney blogs at sydneyavey.com on topics related to relationships, legacy, faith, and the writing life. Her novel, “The Sheep Walker's Daughter,” will be released from Hope Springs Books, Chalfont House in December 2013.