WHEN THE TREE FLOWERED by John Neihardt

WHEN THE TREE FLOWERED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cloaked as fiction, this reads rather as an authentic recreation of the old world of the Sioux, as Eagle Voice recounts the story of his life. Scattered, episodic, flavorful, this is uneven in interest and too loosely woven to build up to any sense of form. There are hunting parties, initiations, dances, tales of heroism, moods of mysticism, of visions. There is the threat and realization in the coming of the white man, and the resultant disintegration of the tribes. There are Eagle Voice's interpretations of romance, Indian fashion, almost a bit of Lochinvar, though here the girl is lost to her lover. There is marriage- and death- and finally reunion with the sweetheart of his youth. There are battles, against hereditary enemies -- against the whites, ""the horseback soldiers"" but always the realistic aspects seemed clouded with Indian symbolism, myth and legend. The form the narrative takes, with most of the text written as though the old Indian was speaking, provides a hurdle for the average reader, though the dependable audience for scholarly Indian material will find it worthwhile.

Publisher: Macmillan