Monday, April 26, 2010
Walks the Fire by Stephanie Grace Whitson
A while back I wrote a post about re-reading favorite books from years past - in particular the Prairie Winds Series by Stephanie Grace Whitson. I remembered this three-book series as being un-put-down-able and that we passed them around my circle of friends as fast as we could read. However, I questioned my memory - I am just a few days past 40, you know - and hesitated to part with the money to re-purchase the lost copies in case they weren't as amazing as I remembered. So, I tracked down the first book, Walks the Fire, through paperback swap and by page thirty I had ordered new copies of the next two for myself and all three for the library. It was every bit as wonderful as I remembered - and I'm so proud of myself for hanging on to a thought for fifteen years!
Walks the Fire is the story of Jesse King, young wife and mother, who sets out across the Nebraska prairie, bound for Oregon. She meets tragedy, friends, death, love, fear... I don't want to spoil the story, but I don't think it's giving away too much (seeing as it's the title of the book) to tell you that Jesse is taken in by the Lakota people and becomes Walks the Fire. Her strength in the face of challenges beyond my imagination, and her unwavering faith in spite of them all, are inspiring. If she can face loss, derision, and learning an entire new culture and language, surely I can cope with car repairs and the Audrey II-type ivy that refuses to loosen it's grip on my house.
Having lived for twelve years on the same Nebraska plains and even longer on the Kansas prairie, I have a special love for pioneer stories and especially for ones that include Native American lore. The second book of the series, Soaring Eagle, picks up the story with Jesse's son. I am eagerly awaitng the UPS man each day so I can dive into the next part of this wonderful journey.