Friday, July 25, 2014

Review of Janet Kay's Waters of the Dancing Sky

Waters of the Dancing Sky 
Janet Kay

ISBN 978146993334
Second edition, 2012
Llumina Publishing, 2010


 Buy on Amazon

From the publisher:
Sometimes you must tiptoe across that bridge linking this world with the next. Sometimes, it is the only way to put the twisted pieces of one’s life back together again.

Beth Calhoun is a middle-aged woman haunted by a tragic past - the drowning death of her young mother, the shame of having no father. Escaping from an abusive marriage, she retreats to her family’s wilderness island home on Rainy Lake along the Minnesota/Ontario international border. Here she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery that flows through a series of wilderness adventures, past and present. As she delves into her mother’s old diaries, she discovers long-held family secrets including the shocking identity of her mysterious father. Spirits of the past emerge as she struggles through a complex web of emotions and shifting relationships. Can she forgive and put the past behind her? Can she learn to trust and to love again?

Waters of the Dancing Sky is an inspirational love story, an intriguing blend of fact and fiction that weaves an appreciation of nature and local Ojibwe culture into mankind’s eternal search for meaning.

My review:
Years of domestic abuse have altered Beth Calhoun. When she finally has the courage to break free after her daughter is grown and out of the house, Beth answers the summons of a family friend to her grandmother’s deathbed.

Nana raised Beth after her mother’s death in a boating accident on Rainy Lake, Minnesota, but Beth had thought she’d wanted more in life and eloped as a teenager. Now back, Beth attempts to reestablish a life for herself, including the mystery of her parentage to which her grandmother whispered clues as she lay dying.
The best clues are locked in trunks in the attic, and this is where Beth, with a curious lack of urgency, eventually sorts out her mother’s secret. Another part of learning to move on means casting off her ex-husband who is reluctant to share his wealth, and learning to love someone else, her neighbor, Seth, an Ojibwe artist, who had known and helped her grandmother, and kept many of the family secrets, which it turns out, weren’t all that secret in the small community.

Told through several running character viewpoints, this story of regaining identity and dignity, self-discovery, and appreciation of family is a good virtual trip “up north” to lake country.

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