SING FOR A GENTLE RAIN by J. Alison James
Kirkus Star

SING FOR A GENTLE RAIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A half-Indian teen-ager who lives with his grandfather while his singer mother is perpetually on tour is summoned backward into time by the powerful ritual song of an Anasazi girl, Spring Rain, whose grandfather believes she is destined to bear a son who will become their people's leader. For weeks, James has been visited by an elusive dream centering on a haunting song. He sets out on a solitary camping trip, sleeps on a lonely mesa, and awakes 700 years earlier during the drought that may have caused the mysterious disappearance of the flourishing Anasazi culture. He knows enough about these people to recognize them; haltingly, he and Spring Rain begin to communicate and share their languages, though most of her people are more wary of this stranger. This beautifully imagined story is well grounded in what is known of the ancient peoples of the Southwest and in the believable characterization of a bright boy, at odds with his own time, whose circumstances open him to a rich experience that grows out of his complex heritage. James's ancient village is a believable mixture of what is known and what might have been; she handles the transitions in time with poetic grace and develops the delicate love story with touches of realistic detail that make it more poignantly plausible. A historical note sorting out fact from conjecture would have been a helpful addition; still, a well-wrought, entertaining novel.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1990
ISBN: 689-31561-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Atheneum
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