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If a Lion Could Talk
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If a Lion Could Talk

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  35 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Harriet Ryegate, the proper daughter of Massachusetts Puritans, is the first white woman to go far into the wilderness beyond the upper Missouri. With her husband, a Baptist minister, she seeks to convert the Blackfoot Indians to Christianity. But it is the Ryegates who are changed by their "journey into strangeness." Marcus Ryegate returns to Massachusetts obsessed by a b ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Bison Books (first published 1970)
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Shirley Brown
Dec 22, 2014 Shirley Brown rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing story. Mildred Walker is an incredible author. The story is about Harriet and Mark Ryegate. He leaves her and goes into the Wilderness of Montana to convert the Blackfeet Indians. Things don't go so well for him, however he become obsessed with an Indian princess. Harriet decides to follow him and once she arrives, they only stay for three more months, long enough for Harriet to become pregnant and Mark decides he has been a failure as a missionary. They return to Massachuset ...more
Robert Bason
Mildred Walker's place in American literature should be more secure than it is. Her "Winter Wheat" has had something of a renaissance, and "The Body of a Young Man" was nominated for the National Book Award. I'm in the middle of reading through all of her work (13 novels) because we are putting up a display about her work in the Historical Society in Grafton, Vermont, where she lived in the family home for many years. This book is probably not her strongest book, but it is interesting and kept m ...more
Sara Habein
Mar 17, 2015 Sara Habein rated it really liked it
It took me all of the first half to really get into it, but I ended up enjoying this a lot.
Aug 04, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it
A more complex plot than many of Walker's novels,with fully-realized protagonists. Although some of her language is outdated, she offers a new perspective on the interaction of European and Native cultures on the frontier in the context of the impending Civil War. I continue to be amazed that Walker is not better known outside of context of regional writers of the Great Plains and mountain West. DO NOT read the James Welch introduction before reading the novel! All he does is offer a blow-by-blo ...more
Aug 31, 2015 Micebyliz rated it liked it
a story of love and trust and sacrifice in a West that was changing and a young country that desperately needed to change.
not a simplistic account by any means, but a complex story loosely based on historical fact.
Charmaine Anderson
Sep 20, 2009 Charmaine Anderson rated it really liked it
This was a very origional story about early American missionary work to the Indians. I have also read "Winter Wheat" by Mildred Walker and The "Curlews Cry" and liked them both.
Aug 21, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
A page turner with a twist. Who thought spirituality could be such an interesting plot? I liked the use of diary, third person, letters and flashbacks. Never a dull moment!
Sep 04, 2010 Bev rated it really liked it
I am so pleased to find this author. I like her blend of history, psychological and relationship insights in a novel. Hopefully her other books will be just as good.
Diana Olsen
Loved the title of this based on an African proverb: If a lion could talk, we couldn't understand him anyway. But the book is about the American west.
Suzanne Kirchner
Jan 21, 2013 Suzanne Kirchner rated it it was amazing
This would make an excellent screenplay.
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Mildred Schemm Walker (May 2, 1905 – May 27, 1998) was an American novelist who published 12 novels and was nominated for the National Book Award. She graduated from Wells College and from the University of Michigan. She was a faculty member at Wells College from 1955 to 1968. Walker died in 1998 in Portland, Oregon.

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