An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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There’s a reason I love really well written historical fiction novels. It connects me emotionally with people from a different time in such a way that it doesn’t feel so very far from my heart. Dovetails in Tall Grass tells the story of two women in the years 1861-1862 as they experience the frontier settlements of Montana. One of the characters is Oenikika of the Dakota Sioux tribes and the other is Emma, the daughter of the town’s lawyer. Both are around 16 years old and we see what life was like through both of their experiences.
During this time, the settlers were drafting land deeds and building as much infrastructure as possible while forcing the tribal groups to live on reservations, while promising them gold payment and provisions. The tribes were dependent on this deal not falling through and put their lives in the hands of the government settlers. When the payments and rations didn’t arrive, the tribe members were starving and really struggling to survive. After continued disrespect they had to make the difficult decision to go to War.
Reading the pained words from their perspective hurt my soul in a way that it needed. I fell in love with Oenikika’s perspective on life, family and how to survive. She is a truly motivating character as a female role model both in her devotion to caring for her family, her tribe and her traditions.
In contrast to this, I also very much loved the character of Emma. All she wants is to learn and share her ideas and convictions with others, but being a young woman doesn’t allow for these kinds of behaviors. Especially if you’re found out to be an Indian Sympathizer. When the settlers are attacked and Emma witnesses these atrocities, she also is witness to the good in those among the Indians that did not wish to cause harm to the settlers.
A powerful story told over the course of one year from two very different perspectives that brings to life a beautiful portrayal and heartfelt perspective to a very important time in history.
Available August 24th, 2021!
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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.