WHERE THE BROKEN HEART STILL BEATS by Carolyn Meyer

WHERE THE BROKEN HEART STILL BEATS

The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker
Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A fictionalized biography of a Texas frontierswoman, captured by Comanches when she was nine and returned to her family 24 years later. Meyer uses the sketchy historical record as framework for an imaginative reconstruction of the last few years of Parker's life as virtual prisoner of her well-meaning relatives, who refused to let her return to the tribe where she felt she belonged. There is little overt drama in those years spent in a limbo of loss and longing for her warrior husband and sons, shunted from one household to another and watching her small daughter become like the whites whose ways Cynthia Ann was unwilling to relearn. Meyer alternates between Cynthia Ann's viewpoint and the diary of a fictional younger cousin whose curiosity about Comanche life is used to explore differences between Indians' and settlers' ways. Her long-repressed memories of ``the time before the People'' return to her in an extended flashback describing her capture, the abuse and enslavement that followed, and the gradual fading of her ``white'' identity as she became a respected member of the band and the wife of a chief. It's a skillful examination of how individual identity is determined by cultural and social structures, and of what happens when these are drastically altered. Historical note; portrait. Bibliography not seen. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-15-200639-7
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1992




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