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Bones Beneath Our Feet

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In the beautiful land of Puget Sound, there are bones beneath our feet


BONES BENEATH OUR FEET is the heartbreaking historical epic story of the conquest of the Natives of Puget Sound by the "Boston" tribe. Focused on the period from 1844-1858, BONES BENEATH OUR FEET explodes with political intrigue, stormy intermarriage, tenderness and betrayal, misunderstanding and fear
Paperback, 372 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Bennett & Hastings (first published June 25th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 337)
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Michael Schein
Jul 11, 2011 Michael Schein rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote it! What do you think I thought?
Jan 21, 2014 Larisa rated it really liked it
It was with a heavy heart that I finished this book. Of course, you know how it's going to end; this is a historical novel, and the back of the book quotes the tomb stone of the "judicially murdered" Chief Leschi. But to read the details of the hatred and superiority complex and self-servingness of my state's first governor, the man after whom my child's school is named, was painful. To be sure, Isaac Stevens was not the only politician advocating for the extermination of the Native Americans; i ...more
Dec 12, 2011 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won-as-giveaway
Won as goodreads giveaway.

I loved the book but I AM your target audience: I enjoy books about Native Americans, history, the Pacific NW and dealing with adversity. This book delivers.

I feel deep sadness for the Native American's loss of way of living. They are often portrayed as savages but truth be told, the White Man is as savage if not more so and for usually lamer reasons. Native American appreciation of Nature and Life is majestic.

Life is about learning to dance in the rain, not trying to
Nov 16, 2011 Monty rated it it was amazing
I love how historical novels can take a few paragraphs out of a history book or a page out of Wikipedia ( and make it all come alive. Anyone familiar with the Pacific Northwest will especially appreciate this book because so many landmarks are mentioned. This book was so good that I wanted to stop reading it when the the painfully predictable parts (defining indigineous people as subhuman, taking away their lands, mistreating, etc) were described. There c ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing
One of the best historical novels I've read yet. The characters engaged me from the beginning. I learned so much about this area of the country. You must read this book. I still see the boy trying to keep his disturbed mother from jumping out her bedroom window. Excellent book.
J. Glenn
Jul 15, 2011 J. Glenn rated it it was amazing
Bones Beneath Our Feet by Michael Schein is a powerful and deeply moving historical novel about the conquest of the Puget Sound area by the “Bostons” as white people were known in the mid-nineteenth century. Based on research of the actual historical record, the story brings alive the struggles for justice by Chief Leschi and the Nisqually tribe who were being cheated out of their land by the infamous Governor Isaac Stevens. This story is a gripping one and beautifully written with vivid descrip ...more
Michael Schein’s novel, Bones Beneath Our Feet, does for the Pacific Northwest what Nathaniel Philbrick did for the East Coast in Mayflower. The history of First People and Boston tribes in the Puget Sound is meticulously researched and brought to life with sensitive depictions and dialog that reads itself from the page. Chief Leschi’s dignified acceptance of change is contrasted with other tribes’ unwillingness to compromise, and with the Boston tribe’s blind following of law and politics. Hone ...more
Nov 26, 2011 Marilee rated it really liked it
This book is historical fiction about the interaction between the Native Americans and the Americans when the Americans first settled in the Puget Sound area. I have lived in the Puget Sound area for the last ten years, so it was really interesting to read about the people who the places around here are named after. I really came to love some of the people in this book, Chief Leschi in particular. What a brave, great man. There were some mistakes that the editing team missed, and I thought the a ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Dwain rated it really liked it
I am currently starting the final section. Good book, so far, with lots of good and not well understood history. More when I finish.

Just finished (2/19/12). This was a really worthwhile read. The history is riveting and the story telling is excellent. A must read for anyone interesting in Northwest history and a should read for anyone else.

Carol Kufeldt
Mar 16, 2015 Carol Kufeldt rated it liked it
It's always revealing to read history about the place you live and are familiar with- it really opens your eyes to what came before. Our history as a 'modern" civilization is so new, and being reminded of the people who made their life here only 200 years ago is a reckoning of sorts.
Jul 13, 2013 Deloris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This is a moving novel based heavily on history about how the white man conquered the Native Americans in the Puget Sound area in the 1850's. Chief Leschi was a real class act, Governor Isaac Stevens was not.
Heather McLaughlin
This is the first Books on the Bus that I am having trouble reading. It is very dense, the plot is slow, and it's hard to read because you know the outcome. I read Twelve Years a Slave before this and I think it was easier because you know the outcome isn't perfect, but it is certainly better. And you know his personal story ends with his freedom. I doubt that's going to be the case for the Native Americans in this book. Added note: I never did finish this. I went to a very enjoyable presentatio ...more
Mike Cook
Jul 16, 2015 Mike Cook rated it really liked it
The story is excellent, but I believe the real history suffers a bit in the telling, though. This story claims that Leschi was a chief of the Nisqually tribe, however, everything that I've read before says that the Nisquallies had no chiefs until Governor Stevens designated Leschi as Chief so Stevens could have someone "official" sign the treaty. The tribe was governed by a council of respected members, not by one person. This story perpetuates the fiction that Leschi was at every attack on whit ...more
This is one of those books where you know the ending going in, but it still manages to be riveting.

It is a well structured, dramatic accounting of the Indian War in the Puget Sound area in 1850s that culminated in the judicial murder of Chief Leschi. It is sickening the layer upon layer of injustices that it took to bring him down, but it also imparts the terror of those years for both the settlers and the tribes.

It is amazing that we have a legitimate judicial system at all and at the same time
Ann Boeholt
Mar 03, 2016 Ann Boeholt rated it really liked it
Really Good. Educational and frightening. It left me wondering, to what extent did all these events really happen and how much were they fictionalized. Fortunately, it has an extensive bibliography that provided the reference material for the story. I went to the library and checked out a stack of books on Northwest Indian history. Loved this book. It has stuck with me.
May 18, 2015 Carolyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
Sep 27, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it

Great local history woven into fiction but I had to work hard at staying engaged. It felt a little like homework. The author spoke at our book club meeting. He is passionate about his work which I think is reflected in this book. He had the great challenge of deciding how much nonfiction to eliminate to make it readable. Great read, just needed a few more embellishments.
Jun 26, 2016 Bud rated it really liked it
This book by a Seattle author tells the story of local Northwest tribes interactions with the first settlers in the area via historical fiction. The enmity between Governor Stevens and Chief Leschi leading to the eventual death sentence of Leschi is detailed and impactful.
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Michael Schein is an attorney, historian, and author of the historical nonfiction work, JOHN SURRATT: THE LINCOLN ASSASSIN WHO GOT AWAY (April 2015), as well as two historical novels: BONES BENEATH OUR FEET (2011) (a Pacific NW Booksellers’ featured choice), and JUST DECEITS: A HISTORICAL COURTROOM MYSTERY (2008) (a #1-seller on KINDLE). Mr. Schein taught American Legal History at Seattle Universi ...more
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