CarleeMcDot

A friend of mine had shared this book on her Instagram a couple months back so I got on the wait list at the library. I knew nothing about it when it became available, but sort of read the title as a comforting "there, there" type phrase. I quickly found out that this was not what the title was referencing (it was actually from a quote about how a place was no longer the place they once remembered "there is no there there"). I found this book incredibly interesting, albeit slightly hard to follow at times. The story is an intertwining of 12 different characters and their journey to one specific event (a powwow in Oakland). Often times I found it hard to keep the different characters and their stories straight (some would only have a page or two about them, while others would have twenty to thirty before switching to another person). The hubby has a heart for the Native American people, so reading more about their plight was eye opening (even in a novel format). Even with the constant changing of points of view and narrative styles, I was hooked. The author does a great job at reinforcing his idea that the term "Native" cannot be easily defined. Although there may be similar themes in the Native experience, every tribe, family and person experiences things differently and we need to honor each and every one of those stories. I do have to say, I was a little bummed at the end of the story because I felt like there was so much left unfinished, but I do see why sometimes an author leaves a story open-ended and allows the reader creativity to decide how everything turns out. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

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