Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Two Spirits: A Story Of Life with The Navajo by Walter L Williams & Toby Johnson

Continuing the recent trend of doing something a bit different here, this week I'll be giving you my thoughts on a historical novel; Two Spirits: A Story of Life With the Navajo by Walter L Williams & Toby Johnson.

Shaun's rating:

Two Spirits tells the story of the removal to, internment at, and subsequent release of the Navajo (Dine) people from the Bosque Redondo reservation in New Mexico which occurred in the 1860s immediately following the U.S. civil war. This is one of the most shameful (among many shameful) examples of the Euro-Americans treatment of Indigenous Americans. As with most historical novels this one is loosely based on historical facts, with plenty of liberties taken for the sake of the story, but the essence of the actual history is there.

The truly interesting thing about this novel is the authors attempt to tell of the acceptance of gender variations and differing sexual preferences by the Native Americans (At least the Navajo and some other Native Americans). One of the main characters is homosexual and the other is transgender. Of course like most real people these are not absolutes, both gender and sexual preference generally exists along a spectrum and such is the case with both of these characters. There are other characters in the book with varying genders and sexual preferences as well. 

The story of the Navajo and the Bosque Redondo is certainly an interesting one, and one that we as a nation must never forget and hopefully will learn from. The authors do a credible job of telling this story, and of course of getting their message of gender and sexual acceptance across. I did find though that the writing was just a bit simplistic. I honestly felt that this book, perhaps minus the few erotic scenes, would be much more appropriate for a preteen/teen audience. It just never gripped me, or truly drew me into the story, and I am a huge fan of historical fiction.

Since I normally do discuss and review erotica here, I will mention that there were a few short erotic scenes in this book and that those scenes were pretty well done.

The book was well edited and very readable.

I'm giving Two Spirits three and one half out of five paddles. If you are interested in historical fiction and/or books that show gender/sexual preference acceptance in a positive light I think you will enjoy this novel.

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