I began reading this in Taos, NM as an attempt to get some local flavor, and am not sure about it, except that I have never been sure of Taos either. There is an authenticity to the story that compelled me to finish the last few pages. The author is credible and I would not be surprised if people still live like he describes today, having just driven the "high road" to Taos from Santa Fe. His descriptions of the country are quite detailed and accurate, but a reader need not have seen it to appreciate it. The premise of a dam coming to a community where the people have owned and worked the land for many, many years is pretty interesting as a concept, especially when they are not so sure they need a dam but the people they vaguely put in office favor the dam in the name of flood control and perhaps opportunistic land-buyers as well.
This book really gives one the flavor of the early Southwest. It is an older book so the pace is somewhat different from what we find in more modern works. The portrayal of Indian life as it is encountered with the Americans,the Mexicans and the Catholic Church is nicely developed. This is considered Frank Waters finest work.It was the book for our local book club.
Interesting book the superstitious and backward culture of early New Mexico. Characters were, oddly enough, both simple and complex. A great look into the things that are most important in our lives. Excellent plot and deeply satisfying ending.