The audio edition of the The River People is out!
This novel is a bit different from my norm: an historical story set in the west (wet) side of Oregon a few hundred years ago, and it features a young girl becoming a woman.
River-Song’s father, Chief Sits-and-Thinks, is growing old and sick, but he trusts in her to lead their people. Her best friend has become her rival as they compete to marry the big chief’s son. But as River-Song proves herself to him, she begins to see he isn’t the man she thought. Then she must use her gift of words when a wandering band of braves seek a new home with them. They speak her mother’s language so she can understand them. River-Song feels pulled to their leader but confused about her place in the tribe. Can this young girl hold her tribe together as the new braves join them, and again when hostile warriors attack their valley?
Come visit the River People in the Pacific Northwest before fur traders or missionaries arrived. River-Song lives in a valley of meandering streams that give them salmon and trout to eat. Oak trees abound in the valley, and a forest of cedar and fir surround them, making a canopy and giving them planks for their long houses, canoes, and totem poles.
I have another Native American novella called In the Land of Huckleberries and Wokas. It’s also set in Oregon, but across the mountains in Klamath Basin.
These stories are very different from my other work, but I enjoyed writing both. These stories seemed to write themselves! The River People has a special place in my heart because it’s the first book of mine that my daughter read, and later I found her playing “The River People” with her Barbie dolls. A very sweet author and mommy moment for me!