Spirit of the Mountain by Paty Jager is a book to savor for the story, the style, and so much more. As one reviewer stated, “Spirit of the Mountain is the historical I’ve been hoping for since reading Pocahontas.”
Based in Wallowa County 1770, Wren of the Nimiipu holds her mountain and her people dear in her heart even if she is a bit more high spirited than her father would wish. It is when she feels being torn from all she loves is her gift to save her people as fated by her vision quest, that Wren shows her whole heart. Then her adventure and this rich and powerful love story begins. As the author states – “The daily activities and beliefs of the Nimiipu in this book are factual -” and Ms. Jager presents a beautiful world laced with the magic of nature and entwined with the spirit of the mountain.
Once I entered Wren’s world, as a reader, I was swept into another time and culture full of beauty, passion, and dangers. The challenges and choices have deep meaning, and require extreme trials.
Hell on the Heart by Nancy Brophy is a really good contemporary romantic suspense that also took me into a different world and culture. Ms. Brophy presents a Texas gypsy compound that has a strong balance between mystical traditions and current crime prevention technologies.
What these two book have shown me is that I prefer stories where the characters have personal philosophies for their lives and strong cultural structures and communities. Between reading these two books I also quickly read through some best-seller authors and found the characters too generic and the stories shallow, even though the writing and craftsmanship was good.