Amy (Other Amy)'s Reviews > Crazy Brave

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo
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I played with garter snakes, horned toads, frogs, June bugs, and other creatures. Some of my favorite playmates were roly-poly bugs. They busied about with several legs and didn't trip themselves up. They protected themselves when threatened by curling into a ball. As we played, I could see the light shining around their little armored bodies.

Roly-polys! This is like an automatic 5 star from me! OK, no, I will be good. 3.5 stars overall. I must say I really enjoyed this book, maybe more so because even though I know next to nothing of Native American culture, it is clear that this author and her folks are my people. From the children running through yards playing with reptiles and bugs to the struggles making ends meet and the bouts of too much alcohol and smoke and the housework that is never done and the poetry that might make it all better. My folks, to the core. (I say this with full awareness of one massive genocide standing between our peoples, which kills me because I am helpless as to what can bring any healing. It is clear to me that we are different, but as all differences do, this resolves down to our same. Because we have been the same kind of coward, and I aspire to be the same kind of brave.)

As a read, it is a little disjointed having no grounding in the dream travelling and the visions of things that happen before birth and such, but by the end of the book these things fall into a rhythm, become one of its charms. But then it all ends very abruptly. Nonetheless, I probably would round this up to a 4 star were it not for one of the most gripping stories she tells being "partially fictionalized," with no indication of what exactly was fictionalized. Names changed to protect the innocent? What actually happened? People's reactions? No idea. It is one of the best stories in the book. Ah, well. (3 stars means "I liked it" and I in this case I totally recommend this book.)

From page 56:
And whom do I call my enemy?
An enemy must be worthy of engagement.
I turn in the direction of the sun and keep walking.
It's the heart that asks the question, not my furious mind.
The heart is the smaller cousin of the sun.
It sees and knows everything.
It hears the gnashing even as it hears the blessing.
A door to the mind should open only from the heart.
An enemy who gets in risks the danger of becoming a friend.
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Reading Progress

July 24, 2015 – Shelved
September 10, 2015 – Started Reading
September 10, 2015 –
page 31
18.02% "A stream of impressions and assertions wrapped in a belief system unfamiliar to me. Disorienting, but I like it anyway."
September 11, 2015 – Finished Reading

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