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One reviewer who gave it, as I did, 3 stars wrote mixed feelings True, a blend of contemporary times with ancient Indian religion or mythology with Christian and not to be left out, Jewish tradition I felt it was just too new age and way too much on the stories of native stories I ve loved Erdrich, Hillerman, Least Heat Moon, and others This was too laden with Native American tales, guilt, pride and put downs of European influence Dreams, fantasy, call it whatever, the predestined life implies we don t have choice, so how to account for characters not taking the right path having choices The duality, almost, blending Biblical into Indian tradition was too cozy, convenient Finally, why does it always seem in reincarnation and in ancestor tracing worship, the characters always come from great leaders spirits of their communities No ancestor was just working class. This book was divided into several different story sections one that took place in present day and followed an older Native American woman who was employed by a wealthy couple as a cook housecleaner and others that delved into the stories of the main characters ancestors.I loved the way this book blended Native American and Catholic spirituality which is what drew me to the book , particularly the Virgin Mary s intuitive understanding that all beings who forged a path of peace were sacred and would have been friends of her son Mary s manifestation appeared in both the historical and the modern timelines, and I liked her portrayal in the historical one better she felt just a touch too woo woo in her modern incarnation, and I kind of felt as if the privileged, unemployed middle aged woman she was sent to awaken was not really deserving of the honor On the other hand, her appearance to comfort a grieving mother and clan leader in the historical storyline seemed a much worthy visitation.The historical writing was incredibly beautiful and evocative The modern writing I found to be a little stilted in places, but I liked that it lent some greater insight into the politics of being American Indian and living in the current culture This is something I still strive to find a deeper understanding of, especially since moving to a state with a significant Native population that still remains mostly a mystery to me. FREE ♓ Sacred Wilderness ⚇ A Clan Mother Story For The Twenty First Century, Sacred Wilderness Explores The Lives Of Four Women Of Different Eras And Backgrounds Who Come Together To Restore Foundation To A Mixed Up, Mixed Blood Woman A Woman Who Had Been Living The American Dream, And Found It A Great Maw Of Emptiness These Clan Mothers May Be Wisdom Keepers, But They Are Anything But Stern And Aloof They Are Women Of Joy And Grief, Risking Their Hearts And Sometimes Their Lives For Those They Love The Novel Swirls Through Time, From Present Day Minnesota To The Mohawk Territory Of The S, To The Ancient Biblical World, Brought To Life By An Indigenous Woman Who Would Come To Be Known As The Virgin Mary The Clan Mothers Reveal Secrets, The Insights Of Prophecy, And Stories That Are By Turns Comic, So Painful They Can Break Your Heart, And Perhaps Even Powerful Enough To Save The World In Lyrical, Lushly Imagined Prose, Sacred Wilderness Is A Novel Of Unprecedented Necessity I rejoice that SACRED WILDERNESS exists I m so happy to have read this novel, which is shot through with gratitude and kindness and women s wisdom and reconciliation between faith traditions and healing within the Native community I m thrilled to now know of Susan Power, who takes seriously the role of writer as healer in our world and is unafraid to do this work within the structure of a story I love how she combines utter realism, naming real artists and powerfully evoking real Twin Cities places, with magical realism that s not magic at all but a serious depiction of the spirit world s habitation among us I only wish some Minnesotan publisher had taken on this novel instead of Michigan State University Minnesotans need to claim Susan Power as our own I was always there in the process, this observer critiquing as I went, wondering what others would think Is this good Is this right Heaven help me, will this sell I m not saying I ve gone missing from the work completely, it s my hand and my sensibility, my technique and obsession laying down the paint, but part of me has slipped to the side, quieted that watcher s voice Now I operate on instinct, and I m, well, this is embarrassing She playfull pretended to cover her ears I m shattered with love for these subjects They are front and center Their stories, not mine Sometimes I m weeping with sympathy and joy, respect, and I don t even know it til Dylan walks in and wipes off my face Grace in SACRED WILDERNESS I found the ending lacking and that the storyline took too many short trips into too many directions A sharper focus on past or present would have been enjoyable than jumping so much between them Still, I enjoyed the read The characters were believable and endearing Gladys is the kind of Elder we all love to be around and learn from. This book swept me away Reading Sacred Wildernesswas than a pleasure, it was, for me, a sacred experience I was so moved by it that it is hard to put into words Susan Poweris a craftswoman and storyteller of the highest caliber Her use of language appears effortless, yet so many passages stopped me in my tracks and forced me to read them over again to savor their beauty and to gather all the subtle meaning packed into them The novel follows the lives of two women and their families as they connect and become intertwined, learning from one another as they go It is a story of culture clashes It is a story of spiritual journey and understanding It is a story of self discovery and transformation both expected and unexpected Spanning generations, it is also a story of our humanness and the things that push us apart and draw us back together Ultimately, it is a story of the deep and powerful love that lives inside each and every one of us I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. First of all, I believe this is a book which might be of great significance inspiration to every young adult adult American woman It is a work of validation in the most honest terms one could write.There is so much wisdom in this almost poetic work by Susan Power, a novel which is part of the American Indian Studies Series of Michigan State University Press It s one of the clearest breathtaking expressions I ve ever read of the worldview of First Peoples It s also uniquely innovative in its respectfully honest statement of the conflicts relationships with Christian, particularly Catholic, religious tradition The last two chapters The Gospel of Maryam Assumption are immensely eloquent realistic.If you re looking for a message of hope in this turbulent mess of the end of 2016, Susan Power s book is it I was captivated by the four strong women in this novel, whose stories are interwoven to create a tale of love, loss, regret and redemption Sacred Wilderness spans time and location, allowing the story to unfold to the reader in a slow, organic way The book moved me as a reader and as a writer. I am not good at writing reviews and this book is going to make it harder than usual The story started off slow for me, until I began to look into the characters that Powers writes and their underlying motives Not a religious book, but a very spiritual one that had me delving deep into myself and my beliefs a touching novel and one that makes you consider what matters. This was a Hanukkah gift from one of our daughters, the same daughter who as a lively UW Badger introduced me to the joys of Louise Erdrich What a treasure the daughter, of course, but also this book It was pure delight on so many levels literary style, spiritual food, ideas for New Year s resolutions, sources for discussion with my Dear Husband because it ties in with so much of his reading themes about tribal conflict, religious and otherwise , women, information about Native American traditions and ideas past and present , humor, St Paul the city Just Absolutely Perfect.