Despite the violent events that punctuate this tale, Bittner's ( Thunder on the Plains ) historical romance is, ultimately, a gentle work, thoughtful and sympathetic as it portrays 30 years in the life of a Cheyenne woman. Since Medicine Wolf was saved from a bear by a pack of wolves when she was six and received her first ``vision,'' she has been regarded as a holy woman. Her distrust of whites, learned from her elders, intensifies when she spends two years living with the Prescotts, Methodist missionaries. Her tribe desires that she learn the whites' ways and how to live peacefully with them; the Prescotts want her to be ``saved'' and live with the settlers. Although she finds a friend in the Prescotts' son Tom, who is interested in Cheyenne customs, she eagerly returns to the Cheyenne, hoping to marry her beloved warrior Bear Paw. (An interesting twist emerges in Bear Paw's feelings of inadequacy in the face of this powerful woman.) But Medicine Wolf cannot help the Cheyenne preserve their way of life or cope with the massive influx of whites who, by their methods of farming and hunting, are changing the very shape of ``Grandmother Earth.'' (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992 Release date: 02/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
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