From Publishers Weekly In more than 50 vignettes, some of which have appeared in her nationally syndicated column, 'Think on These Things,' Hifler (A Cherokee Feast of Days) blends reminiscences of growing up on an Oklahoma reservation with asides on the lessons she has drawn from the natural world. In brief, loosely chronological chapters, she presents sketches of her family members and the highs and lows of her childhood: the joy of a picnic alone with her mother; the day her cousin finally won recognition at the school they attended with the 'oil-field kids' by revealing his intimate knowledge of trees; and the death of her beloved grandmother. There are also many short meditations on natural scenes, from which Hifler draws simple aphorisms, usually with a spiritual emphasis, such as 'these flowers, these plants, these bits of bright color are simply basic Truth.' In another, she asserts, 'listening is essential,' but cautions, 'because we listen and know does not mean we do what [our ancestors] tell us to do.' While these philosophical asides and passages of nature writing can be evocative, they can also feel fragmentary, lacking a strong narrative pull or obvious point, perhaps because revelation is 'not our people's way,' as Hifler's mother points out. While Hifler's words hold wisdom for those willing to meditate on them, to others her reticence may make her writing seem elusive or opaque. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Read more From Library Journal Hifler, a syndicated columnist and the author of A Cherokee Feast of Days (Council Oak Dist., 1992), shares brief vignettes of her childhood in the Cherokee country of Oklahoma. These tales are interspersed with bits of inspirational wisdom on faith, prayer, and our relation to nature. The reader gets tantalizing glimpses of Hifler's youth, her many relatives and friends, and the countryside of rural Oklahoma. But the book is too short and scattered to provide detailed description, ultimately descending to a series of quick but thoughtful sketches, many of which began as newspaper columns. Light reading suitable for larger public libraries.AGwen Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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