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Cha'risa's Gift Paperback – September 4, 2016
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About the Author
Ilana Maletz moved to Northern Arizona seven years ago after spending most of her adult life on the east coast where she raised a family and taught music at the middle and high school levels. She began visiting Northern Arizona with her family more than a decade ago. Cha'risa's Gift began to take shape on long hikes among the red rocks with her Golden Retriever, Lucy. The majestic beauty of Sedona, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, and Havasupai Falls inspired Ilana to write the stories that make up Cha'risa's Gift.
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I was hooked on this story right from the start. The author was very good at creating and developing strong characters that I believed in and cared about. The story of the family was the centerpiece for this book, and it spanned three generations, carrying the reader all the way from the turn of the century to the end of World War Two. It was told through individual voices and personalities within each generation of the family, and the shifting perspective created a rich and complex community of personalities from which to know and share their lives. As each individual voice shared their own unique experience of the family, a narrative evolved that really pulled me in deeper, brought me greater insight, and left me wanting to know more.
There were not only great descriptions of the people, but also of Northern Arizona. The author had a real feel for describing landscapes and atmospheres that filled the reading experience with lots of color. The other thing that really intrigued me about this book was its exploration of different modes of awareness, different ways of psychic existence that the reader is exposed to through Cha’risa, her children, and her grandchildren, as each of them struggles to find their own way to understand and use their gifts.
This book filled me with a gamut of emotions, joy as well as tears, and I loved how the characters spoke, using smart and believable dialogue. This book excelled in every aspect I look for when reading literature.
Maletz has written a compelling story that opens a window into the nature of Native American spirituality and mysticism. Her characters are both complex and believable, and her descriptions of the Northern Arizona setting, from Flagstaff to Sedona to the Grand Canyon, do not disappoint those of us who are familiar with it.
My only criticism is that the book was too short. I would have loved to follow each generation a bit further, but I understand why the author made the choices she did. The story is, after all, about Cha’risa’s gift, and in many ways, the gift is the main character.
I’m looking forward to Maletz’s next book.
It's in story form(so you won't have to memorize facts and figures).
This story is an overwhelming story of a mother and her son.
The mother tries to accept the fact that her son has found the
white mans world and will do anything to help him.
Lots of flash backs. If you like history you'll love this book.