Steven's Reviews > The Color of Lightning

The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles
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's review
Jul 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, maps, history
Read in July, 2009

A novel centering on interactions between Native Americans and Eastern settlers along the Red River in the mid-nineteenth century. I took a special interest in this, being somewhat familiar with some of the locations mentioned in the book. Based on actual historical figures, this book is beautifully written -- very poetic in its description.

The main themes center on clashes of cultures and beliefs -- whites and former slaves, Comanche/Kiowa and settlers, Quakers and the military. The most eloquently expressed concept is the psychological stress of capture and forced assimilation into another culture -- and the even more stressful prospect of being returned. Jiles writes about the conflicts surrounding this phenomenon so very well.

I can definitely recommend this for anyone interested in these topics and with a stomach for some fairly graphic violence.
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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna Steve, I read one of her books years ago and you might remember me talking about it. She worked for public radio stations in Alaska for awhile. She flew in those puddle-jumpers to tiny villages all over Alaska it seemed. Most memorable to me was her first night there. They dumped her in this tiny village right before dark and someone showed her the cabin she would stay in. FREEZING weather! First she had to bring in wood from the wood pile, all of it frozen, and try to chop it. She chased pieces of wood all over the cabin that night, trying to chop them for a fire, her only source of warmth. Found her to be a good storyteller. eager to hear what you think when you read this. We have it too at RVS.

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