Author: Margaret Craven
Year of Publication: 1973
Genre: Native American Fiction (?)
First Line: "The doctor said to the Bishop, 'So you see, my lord, your young ordinand can live no more than three years and doesn't know it.'"
Summary: Amid the grandeur of the remote Pacific Northwest stands Kingcome, a village so ancient that, according to Kwakitul myth, it was founded by the two brothers left on earth after the great flood. The Native Americans who still live there call it Quee, a place of such incredible natural richness that hunting and fishing remain a primary food source.
But the old culture totems and potlatch is being replaced by a new culture of prefab housing and alcoholism. Kingcome's younger generation is disenchanted and alienated from its heritage. And now, coming upriver is a young vicar, Mark Brian, on a journey of discovery that can teach him--and us--about life, death and the transforming power of love.
(Source: Back of book)
Review: I read this book for my junior essay. It was one of those books that I read because it's supposedly some classic (modern classic, anyway, from what I understand) and then it totally disappointed me. It probably would have been better if I had understood why the vicar had been sent there. I totally overread the first page (from which the quote is taken) or I wasn't paying attention. If I had known that, the book may have been slightly better but I still didn't like the writing style or the rest of the plot (which was pretty much non-existent).
Worst part: The lack of plot was killing me. It was like reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, where it's just a series of events in a life that don't necessarily add up to a real plot, except I liked ATGiB.
Best part: I really liked Jim's character. I wish that he had been in the book a little more, even. And the Indian culture didn't really pull through as much as I was looking for.
Other Books by This Author: Again Calls the Owl, Walk Gently This Good Earth, and The Home Front.