SING DOWN THE MOON by Scott O'Dell

SING DOWN THE MOON

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

If Bright Morning were to show her pleasure in the river's running, the new spring's signal to take the sheep up to the mesa, or if her people were to shed tears on The Long Walk into captivity, the gods would be displeased: with the same dignity and reserve, Mr. O'Dell makes of her story the Navaho epic of dispossession and endurance. She has a foretaste of captivity as a servant in a Spanish town, and in mute hostility resists her mistress' overtures. Escaping with two others, she is joined by Tall Boy, haughty as always, who is injured by a Spanish bullet and will no longer be able to pull a bowstring or throw a lance; will he no longer be acceptable as a husband? Then -- developments coming like drops of water -- the Long Knives, the American soldiers, tell them they must leave the canyon. They go into the high country to await the soldiers' departure but day after day sees the erosion of their hopes until, their hogans and cornfields destroyed, the very trees stripped of nourishing bark, they try to break away. Overtaken, they are driven eastward, soon to be joined by all the clans, the whole nation of the Navaho. Bosque Redondo is a gray flatlands already occupied by irascible Apaches; a baby entrusted to Bright Morning dies, and many. many others; the women are idle, the men listless. So is Tall Boy, now Bright Morning's husband (what is a dangling arm here?), but she spurs him to return to the canyon. . . which they reach at last, to find a few of her precious sheep remaining. A slender story, a novella really, but telling, though one's commitment is to the cause rather than to the people.
Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1970
ISBN: 0547406320
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1970




MORE BY SCOTT O'DELL

ChildrenTHUNDER ROLLING IN THE MOUNTAINS by Scott O'Dell
by Scott O'Dell
ChildrenISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS by Scott O'Dell
by Scott O'Dell
ChildrenMY NAME IS NOT ANGELICA by Scott O'Dell
by Scott O'Dell