by Benjamin Capps
I was surprised at how much I liked this story, even though the writing is rather straightforward and the timeline passes quickly. At first I thought it might be considered a YA or even J Fiction book, but it turns out there are a few brutal scenes that were difficult to read. Helen finds that the Comanches are not 'dumb savages' as her father's folk used to say- but neither are they all kindness. They have their own prejudices against other tribes and torture captives. Larger events pass by and Helen hears rumors of warfare among the whites- later they notice the wildlife is diminishing in certain areas and acting strangely in others. They hear even worse rumors of other tribes being forced to leave their land by "treaties" made with the whites. Helen never dreams that these rumors will affect the life she has come to know.
Mostly it is a story of everyday life among ordinary people. The family relationships, the daily work for food and shelter, their travels to different parts of the territory at various times of year, their interactions with other tribes. The games that children play, the stories they tell. One of the more interesting characters I though was the medicine man- who apparently wasn't a very good medicine man at all- how his standing among the tribe began to slip and how that affected his son who was coming of age. Also a shift in leadership. And Helen's own act of bravery when she saw all their work for winter food being despoiled by a warrior from a rival tribe . . .
A very good story, one that has me looking for other books by the same author.
Rating: 3/5 247 pages, 1966