Danielle's Reviews > The Night Birds

The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman
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's review
Jan 27, 09

bookshelves: historical-novel
Read in December, 2008

This book is very well written, but explores some very difficult issues surrounding prejudice and persecution. So I found it very difficult to read because it was so depressing.

The entire story takes place in the past but there are two timelines that are very easy to follow. In the earlier timeline a family emigrates to Minnesota to start their life over. The father, a sympathizer of the slaves, has driven out of Missouri; his wife has decided to stay behind and he is left with his children to make a living on a homestead near an Indian encampment. The fear of the early settlers, justified or not, is very well portrayed in this section because the reader sees the events from both the family and the Indians.

The later part is the story of a young boy whose "crazy" aunt has been kicked out of an asylum and must live with his family. She had the audacity to not only be kidnapped by Indians but even married one of them! The townspeople know her history and often taunt her while the boy finds her to be a rare companion.

I would recommend this book to people interested in frontier history and Indian relations, but it does get very hard to read in parts because of the emotions, misunderstandings, and hatreds involved.

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