From Publishers Weekly
Freelance journalist Jones tells the story of Arapaho medicine man Stanford Addison, a quadriplegic and gifted horse trainer and his effect on animals: The horses would gather around, their liquid brown eyes fixed on him. He'd roll away across the dirt. They'd put their noses down and follow him until he stopped rolling. Jones chronicles the Addison family's triumphs and losses on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, a place plagued by poverty and defined by struggle. Along the way, Jones takes in lost souls, like the half-melted cowboy Moses. At a crossroads in her life, Jones—much like those she cares for—is spiritually lost, but while in Wyoming, she stumbles upon her own journey of self-discovery. With an eye for detail, Jones brings each character to life; she describes Addison as [t]his paralyzed, six-toothed, one-lunged Plains Indian [who] would take a drag of his KOOL Filter King, sigh, and say something like 'I guess the thing I miss most since the accident is ski jumping.'Â At the book's core are the themes of healing, redefining family and home, and finding your center. In the end, Jones reveals the beauty, ruin—and spirituality—of life on the rez. (May 12)
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From Library Journal
A starred review! As the subtitle suggests, this is indeed a love story, but not in the typical romantic sense. It is a chronicle of the author's spiritual journey and growth and a peek at the realities of life on an Indian reservation. Jones has worked as a journalist for over 20 years in the rural West. On assignment for Smithsonian magazine, she travels to the Northern Arapaho community at Wind River Indian Reservation to write an article about a quadriplegic Native American reputed to be an expert horse trainer and medicine man. Jones finds herself immersed in an unfamiliar culture that initially makes her very uncomfortable. The routine journalistic assignment grows in depth and breadth, as Jones introduces the reader to Stanford Addison and his extended family, their horses, and their acceptance of a life that is challenging yet somehow appropriate. The author has a knack for describing events, people, and scenery so well that the reader can almost taste the weak, sugary coffee and feel the oppressive heat of the ceremonial sweat lodge. Compelling reading for those interested in Native American culture and personal journeys of self-discovery.
—Debby Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY
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