Faces in the Moon

Betty Louise Bell, Author University of Oklahoma Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2601-2
Female relationships, kinship and the diverse meanings of ``Indian'' in modern, white-dominated society are the themes at the heart of this generous first novel. The plot centers on three generations of Cherokee women. Gracie Evers is overweight, has peroxided hair and longs for nothing more than assimilation into the Caucasian culture of rural Oklahoma; the same is true of her sister and sometime boarder Rozellen. Gracie has trouble handling her daughter Lucie, a throwback to the fiery personality of her mother Hellen, and often abuses the girl for having an ``Indian'' nature. When Gracie marries an alcoholic and violent white man, Lucie is sent to live with her great-aunt Lizzie, a taciturn Indian who helps the child gain the freedom to be who she truly is. Told largely in flashbacks by Lucie, who has returned home following her hated mother's stroke, the novel is elegantly written in spare prose replete with meaningful details and realistic dialogue. Bell, herself a Cherokee, deeply understands the culture she writes about and conveys that understanding unobtrusively, yet with great emotional power. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-0-8061-2774-3
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