Sunday, July 1, 2012

"An idea like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it explains itself." Charles Dickens

Fr. John O'Malley, a Jesuit priest, formerly from Boston, is pastor at St. Francis Mission in Wyoming. This had been the parish and school for the Arapaho Indian Tribe.

He's on his way to a meeting with the bishop's representative when his car breaks down. When he begins walking, he finds a body partly hidden in the snow.

After calling the police, officials return to the location where the body was found but the body had been removed.

Soon after, Fr. John is informed that St. Francis Mission will close and a community center will be built in its place. He's told that the Arapahos have requested that they build the center on the site of St. Francis.

The setting is the Wind River Indian Reservation with unemployment, people who have endured lifetimes filled with alcohol and drugs and a spirituality that binds the people together.

Fr. John is an enjoyable character and, once again, Margaret Cole has done a good job in describing life on the Indian reservation. There is a well done reference to those who consider themselves enlightened and want the riches and employment opportunities of a casino built on Indian land. However, there are also the elders who want to continue the Indian traditions.

This is a well written, smoothly plotted mystery with excellent insights into the American Indian way of life. Seeing Fr. John meet the challenges of being a pastor in this setting is an interesting bonus.

2 comments:

Tracy Krauss said...

love the beginning quote

Michael Draper said...

Thanks, Tracy. I'm glad you stopped by.
Mike

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