cover image I Wear the Morning Star

I Wear the Morning Star

Jamake Highwater. HarperCollins Publishers, $12.95 (148pp) ISBN 978-0-06-022355-7

The third book of Highwater's Ghost Horse Cycle, this wrenching novel is told by Sitko, grandson of Amana, the heroic Indian woman introduced in Legend Days. It begins when Sitko's mother abandons him at a public home called Star of Good Hope, where he is ostracized and beaten, and ends with his beloved grandmother's death, when he, a young man, is making paintings of her memories. Sitko's brother Reno tells him, ""Nobody's got to be an Indian if he doesn't want to be,'' but Sitko can never be anything else. The pictures and stories he creates arise from ``the dark place'' in his heart that is fiercely Indian. Alone or in the company of the other Ghost Horse books, this is a deeply imagined work that is likely to last. Relentlessly tragic, Sitko's narrative pours forth with the vivid power of a dream. (12-up)