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Firstly there is Tyne who left her home and love "without a word" to struggle as a single mum, to raise Zach a half Native American half white child who has in his teenage years become defiant, moody and rebellious
Then there is Lucas, the dynamite lawyer who is the youngest and the first Native American to have been made partner. He learns of his son Zach 16 years later yet annoyingly seems nonchalant about it, but there is a reason. He has also turned away from his culture for the bright lights of the big city and the materialism of the white man’s world, and needs to learn why
Zach on the other hand not being white, black or Latino doesn’t fit into any group at school, hence the change in his character having reached his teenage years. While being babysat by Rob (Tyne’s looser fiancé) he escapes and with some older kids in the neighbourhood causes damage. He is arrested and in need of a lawyer so Tyne is forced to contact his father Lucas and while in juvenile court a judge orders Tyne, Lucas and Zach to return to Wikweko and the Lenope Natives for 30 days to teach Zach to be responsible and prevent him from being punished for his actions
Secondary characters such as Jasper, who is my favourite of all, are not any less developed or with twists and turns of their own. Jasper is Lucas’s uncle who raised him, a wise old Native man with a wonderful story and lesson to be learnt with all he says and does. LOVED HIM! His way of having raised Lucas and his teachings on how to be “honourable” were hilarious and ingenious as only the Native Americans can do. He continues these ways with Zach
Ruth Yoder I disliked at first believing she followed her religion and culture and giving up a child and birth, again lessons to be learnt about not judging on first sight or appearance
Tyne’s parents I disliked from the start until the end, as much as they claimed to have changed and Tyne somewhat accepted that as truth and wanted them back in her life, they were not for me
I have to say I loved this book. For all its twist and turns, for being a contemporary Native American based story without taking away from the much loved history and culture, and for keeping me so hooked and interested from start to finish. One of my all time favourites and I can honestly say I have never written that before so I would recommend this book 100%, as I am sure you will enjoy it as I did.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 3 Story 5
I had previously read this book for review, and pleasure, and like all of the stories written by Donna Fasano the characters are approachable, the story is laden with situations and emotions that are easily accessible: real stories that are easy to understand and relate to no matter your personal circumstance.
This book focuses on a crisis point in single mother Tyne's life, when her son Zach is arrested for vandalism and brought before the judge. Zach is a fairly typical fifteen year old boy: testing the limits, sullen and often reserved. Add to that his mixed race heritage and his mother's never ending struggle as she works long hours to keep the household moving and you have a scene that is familiar to many, yet heartbreaking every time it happens.
Tyne is beside herself, and seeks the advice of the only lawyer she knows of. Lucas is a high-flying attorney, unaware of the fact that Tyne was pregnant when they separated after a teenage love affair. Tyne's family was distraught when their daughter announced her pregnancy, made even more disturbing when Lucas, a Lanape Indian boy, was named as father.
The story manages to incorporate all of the backstory and the current struggle that the three have: Zach's anger and frustration with his mother for always working his learning about his heritage, and relationship with his father is a highlight, but Tyne and Lucas have many issues to sort out between the two of them, and both Lucas and Tyne have unresolved family struggles to sort out if they are to put Zach back on the right path.
Narration in this audiobook is provided by Amy McFadden, she does a workable narration although it took some time to get used to her overly enthusiastic voice manipulations to delineate character differences. While the voices were clearly defined, there was often an emphasis on getting the `tone' to match character, rather than presenting the often emotionally laden subtext hidden within the revelations: a lack of pauses in expected places that would have given the listener the full benefit of the revelation were missing. Narration wasn't distracting, per se, but not as smooth an integration of the story as I would have hoped.
I've often said that Donna Fasano is one of my favorite authors, and this book or audiobook version continues to reinforce that point. A touch more sensual than many of her titles, the characters are real and breathing, and the story is loaded with hope: hope that everyone will find their own happiness and place in the world, no matter the obstacles.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
eBook Review (May 17, 2013)
I've become a major fan of Donna Fasano's books, the romances always being `approachable' with characters that not only arrive well defined, but manage to grow and change throughout the story, usually addressing issues that are common in feel to many. In this story, single mother Tyne is trying to manage her catering business while raising her teenaged son. While anyone with a teenager understands the trials that come: having a teen that is mixed race adds a whole other group of concerns and issues into the mix. When Zach is picked up by the police, after curfew, with evidence of guilt all over his person, the arrest leads Tyne to reach out to the only good lawyer she knows, Zach's father Lucas.
Throughout this story, the points of view and the difficulties that arise from situations caused by decisions made as teenagers, Tyne and Lucas are forced to face one another and work together to prevent Zach making decisions that he will later come to regret or wish to hide. These three characters coming to face choices of personal responsibility, owning your decisions and even the power of letting go of judgments and old shames was particularly effective. As Zach came to learn the importance of honor and reputation for himself: both Tyne and Lucas were forced to revise their own views and take accountability.
I really enjoyed the quiet way that Uncle Jasper became such a fixture to all three characters: his quiet manner and approach without reaction TO events, but always having some bit of wisdom wrapped in a tale managed to allow the characters to find their own aha moments, with gentle nudges. Their growth and ability to incorporate, albeit slowly, the lessons and information, even when they all harbor guilt about their choices made with the best of intentions at the time gives the reader a taste of the struggles that true personal growth entails.
Particularly satisfying was the love connection that rekindled between Lucas and Tyne: even after all the years, their chemistry felt electric, and when they decided to allow impulse to override fear, their scenes were incredibly sensual and steamy. Even in memory, the sexual chemistry between the two was evident: which could have increased Tyne's parent's fears beyond their mistrust and misguided impression of Lucas and his Lenape ancestry. To be honest, Tyne the teenaged girl was as invested in `hiding' the relationship with Lucas, fearing her friends' reactions and her popularity - so everyone had a need to grow.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters were wonderful, Jasper's parables and stories provided plenty of insight into the differences in cultures, as well as providing some truly unique parenting tips. Lucas and Tyne both managed to grow up from the teens they were, and truly incorporate those changes into the adults they are now. And Zach, as annoying as a teenager can be, truly found a place with friends and the acceptance that every teenager longs for. After devouring this book in one sitting, I can't help but wish that we all had access to our own Uncle Jasper.
I received an eBook from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.