Those in attendance were Darla, George, Pam, Tom and Bruce

With Joan’s unfortunate absence, we missed out on a review of William Krureger’s life as an author.

With some ambivalence, we sort-of liked the book. It did give reader’s insight into the western Great Lakes area and the lives of the Native Americans who live there. It also highlighted the problem of sex trafficking, although we did not know how accurate it was in regard to Native Americans specifically.  Unraveling the mystery of the missing girls was compelling and well portrayed (at least until the end).

There were a number of dislikes expressed.  We agreed that the ending was pretty formulaic and the weakest part of the book.  One objection was the book’s seeming alignment with current efforts of making women be the heroes.  Another objection was the portrayed investigation being ‘by committee,’ although given the wide geographic and political area covered in the story, it would be necessary to work with many different jurisdictions.  The heavy emphasis on the mystical beliefs of the Native Americans got somewhat tiresome and seemed a bit stereotypical.  We also thought that running with an axe down a pant leg with only a slight limp was improbable!

The book did generate significant discussion of the plight of Native Americans.  Topics discussed included the reality of poor treatment by the government, even up to recent times; lack of good education and lack of employment opportunities on reservations; the reality of families being disrupted by children forcibly sent to government boarding schools, which affected an entire generation; and the general difficulty of subsistence cultures transitioning into a cash based economy.

Characters we liked:  Henry, Daniel, Cork, and Louise (added by Joan).

Characters we disliked:  Cork, Windigo, Manny, and Jenny (added by Joan)

(We didn’t discuss her, but we might also include Louise, who was a terrible mother but became a little more sympathetic by the end).

(Many thanks to Bruce for providing this report ~ Joan)