This is a very good contemporary novel with historical insights and a dose of romance.
Erin had received a grant to study tribal customs for her doctoral dissertation. She's spending the summer at the Information Center at the Reservation of the Navajo Nation. While she will be working with inventorying artifacts, her real passion is solving the mystery around a cousin of her adoptive parents. An old journal tells the story of Olivia, a teacher in a Christian school for Navajo children, being taken by the Navajo in the early twentieth century. She was ultimately rescued and returned to the east coast but it seems she might have gone back to the Navajo she loved. Erin is fascinated by Olivia's story and is determined to find evidence for it's possible end.
Adam is with the tribal police. The first time he sees Erin he is attracted to her. But a relationship with her would be a problem. Adam is involved in an undercover drug operation involving Erin's “boss” at the Center. A beautiful and aggressive woman, Debra is suspected of being part of the drug ring supplying drugs to the Navajo youth.
I always like to learn something when I read a novel and this one contains a wealth of information about the Navajo Nation. Most of the story is in the present time, centering on their traditions and what their life is like now on the reservation. Interwoven into the contemporary setting is the abduction of Olivia in 1906. We read about how the Navajo were treated at that time, the children separated from their parents and forced to attend a Christian school. I found this part of the novel very interesting.
That information is deftly included within a good plot. There is lots of action, especially at the end, as the tribal police work to shut down the drug ring. There is certainly romance and I really liked how Erin and Adam's relationship kind of paralleled the relationship Olivia had with her Navajo husband. Both couples had to overcome cultural differences and prejudices. Many of the Navajo in this novel are Christian and we witness a spiritual struggle with others of the Nation who hate Christianity.
All around, this is the kind of romance I like to read. I recommend it.
Lisa Carter is a writer and teacher whose articles have appeared in several magazine. She is a frequent speaker and vocalist at women's ministry events. She is the author of Carolina Reckoning and Aloha Rose. She and her family live in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can find out more about her and her work at http://LisaCarterAuthor.com.
Abingdon Press, 336 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.