FICTION

A Thousand Moons

Viking. Apr. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780735223103. $27. F
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In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, a massacre in the Wyoming territory leaves a young Lakota girl orphaned. She is rescued by two men who rename her Winona and take her with them to their hardscrabble farm in Tennessee. There she becomes a beloved member of a ragtag “family” of former soldiers who keep house and work the land alongside a couple of newly freed slaves. In spite of the warmth and loving kindness Winona receives at home and at work for the local lawyer, she is still viewed as a savage in a community of hooligans and night riders. After she suffers a beating and rape by unknown assailants, her protectors are quick to respond and seek justice on her behalf. But her own sketchy memory of the event and her lowly status in the community as a Native American do little to right these wrongs or give her peace.
VERDICT A poetic sensibility runs through this luminous novel of sorrow and uplift by the Booker-nominated, multi-award-winning Barry. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 10/7/19.]

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