by Marlo Schalesky

September 2003
ISBN: 0-8024-3324-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Moody Publishers
Trade Paperback

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In 1911, the last Yahi Indian walks out of the woods and into civilization for the first time. Driven by starvation and loneliness, Wanasi expects to be killed. To go Ďdown the riverí to join his ancestors.

Anthropologist, Thomas Morgan is ecstatic when he learns about the Indianís existence. He thinks the Indian will be the perfect addition to the museum where he works. Thomas is devastated when he arrives to pick up the man and finds out he has been placed in a jail cell and citizens are allowed to come to gawk at him. Not knowing the Indianís name, and knowing that the race doesnít allow the person to tell others their own name, Thomas decides to call him Ishi. He gives Ishi white manís clothes, and they head for the museum.

Allison Morgan, Thomasí wife, has spent weeks setting up the museum so itís perfect. Nothing is out of place, everything is sorted by tribe and carefully labeled. She is devastated when Thomas and Ishi arrive and discover the museum has been trashed. Abandoned as a young girl, Allison was adopted by a rich woman and raised to be the perfect lady, obeying all tenets of propriety. She finds it difficult to obey the rules around Ishi. Why will disobeying those rules prove devastating to everyone?

In the midst of dreams, a tangle of hidden motives, insecurities, and well-kept secrets, will Allison be able to discover the truth of her identity? Will Ishi find friendship? Will Thomas be able to find out who is sabotaging the museum?

Only The Wind Remembers, starts out kind of depressing, but as the book progressed, it became difficult to put down. The story line is impressive. Based on true events, the reader is transported back to the early part of the twentieth century. The characters are well developed and easy to relate to. I was able to feel their fears and insecurities. Their hopes and dreams became mine. I had to put the book down and have a good cry.

If you love historical fiction, Only The Wind Remembers, is a wonderful book. The story is lonely, all the way through, and is impossible to read without Kleenex handy. There is a truth hidden in the book that the reader must read all the way to the end to discover. There are also a lot of unexpected plot twists in this story which will keep the reader guessing. I usually solve mysteries early on and I wasnít able to figure this one out. Only The Wind Remembers is a book for the keeper shelf. Pick it up today!

Reviewed in April 2004 by Laura.

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