ABOUT THE BOOK
As war overtakes the frontier, Emma’s family farmstead is attacked by Dakota-Sioux warriors; on that same prairie, Oenikika desperately tries to hold on to her calling as a healer and follow the orders of her father, Chief Little Crow. When the war is over and revenge-fueled war trials begin, each young woman is faced with an impossible choice. In a swiftly changing world, both Emma and Oenikika must look deep within and fight for the truth of their convictions—even as horror and injustice unfolds all around them.
Inspired by the true story of the thirty-eight Dakota-Sioux men hanged in Minnesota in 1862—the largest mass execution in US history—Dovetails in Tall Grass is a powerful tale of two young women connected by the fate of one man.
What a tremendous story this is. I felt saddened on each page at the injustice of what occurred. There is a mix of fact and fiction, and on the final pages, a list of characters mentioned from history and fictional ones that make it heartbreakingly real. Each reflects the time. It is hard to believe that this is the author’s first outing, as there is passion on each page.
The story follows two young women, one a teenage girl, who has just finished school and lives with her family as settlers in Minnesota, the other the Indian Chief’s daughter, another teenage girl. From the start of the story you know that the ending is a tragedy, but from the pages between you know it could have been much worse.
As more settlers are dangled carrots to travel west and become homesteaders, the Dakota -Sioux Indians are driven further off their lands. Huge sums of money and a promise of a better life offered if they will move. If only promises would have been kept what happened would not have been a massive loss of lives on both sides.
As the story is told through the lives of the girls, it is more the figures of how many are lost rather than the actual fighting that they hear about. Both girls are exceptional and just. One wants to continue the traditions she has learned while the other seeks justice. Both are strong women. I enjoyed the story coming from them and how each family reacted. Each of the women’s futures is centred around the same man. Another stand out character.
It is a time in history that is not to be proud of, but one that should never be forgotten. Super writing, Recommended reading.
I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samantha Specks is a clinical social worker who has worked on a child/adolescent psychiatric unit, as a Dialectical Behavioral group therapist with adults and adolescents, and as an outpatient psychotherapist. She currently lives in Texas, but her heart and mind resided in Minnesota, her home state, while working on Dovetails in Tall Grass, which is her debut novel. Her happy place is reading a good book or watching a terrible TV show with a cup of tea and her leggings covered in dog hair. Sticking with the theme of strong young women, Samantha and her husband welcomed a baby girl to their family while she was writing this novel.