A quiet and achingly melancholy examination of guilt, grief, and forgiveness, All Coyote's Children relies on the power of story to make sense of Oregon's Native American experience. When Annie's husband goes missing and her son finds himself in trouble, her life is shattered. Excavating the history and the personal stories of her husband's family, Annie tentatively moves toward some kind of healing, and at the same time, she's trying to reconcile her obligations to home and community. Beautifully done, Husted has written an important novel of Native American life, tradition, faith and folklore. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Jack and Annie Fallon had been living what seemed the ideal life with their son Riley, spending the school year in Portland, where Jack was a professor of Native American history, and summers at Jack's family ranch in Northeastern Oregon, on land surrounded by the Umatilla Indian Reservation. But a good way of life can disappear almost overnight, as the Umatilla, Cayuse, and Walla Walla Peoples already know. Now the teenage Riley is in rehab, Jack has disappeared without a trace into the remote wilderness, and Annie has just returned from her own hospitalization following a mental health crisis.
Still-fragile from her hospitalization, a bereft Annie returns to the ranch, where she is befriended by Leona, a Umatilla-Cayuse neighbor. Leona, as it turns out, has a long connection to the family that even Jack never knew about. At the time of his disappearance, Jack had been grappling with his family's legacy--with the conflicts and consequences of white settlement of native ground. Three generations before he was born, the family ranch was taken from the Umatilla reservation through the Allotment Act. Jack's mother died when he was six, but his father's stern presence still cast a shadow on the land.
"Survival is hard sometimes," Leona says, but with her help, Annie is able to bring Riley home from rehab and begin the work of healing their small family, learning, season by season, how to go on living without Jack. Leona, Riley's friends Alex and Mattie, and old neighbors Gus and Audrey become a larger family for Annie as they share the stories that connect them--long-silenced stories from both cultures that could solve the mystery of Jack's disappearance.
In prose that is lyrical and clear-eyed, All Coyote's Children weaves an unforgettable tale of cultures and families caught in the inescapable web of who they are and what they have inherited.