William J. Everett. Red Clay, Blood River. Booklocker.com, 2008.

Through the lives of its main characters and with the Earth as a narrator, Red Clay, Blood River spans space and time to tell a story that is both historical and ecological. It ties together two massive and tragedy-filled relocations of the mid-1830s–the Trail of Tears in the United States and the Great Trek in Africa. It also ties these historical events to the present through the experiences of three ecology students.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

1 Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Everett, William J., Historical, Mountains

One Response to William J. Everett. Red Clay, Blood River. Booklocker.com, 2008.

  1. Jane J. Young

    This novel enables readers to both see and feel the saga of history in which mortals are truly one with each other and one with the universe, each as small in the scheme of things as a grain of sand, yet each a vessel of history-changing potential. The work is a masterful weaving of stories that have their genesis in various areas of the world, and Everett’s research–of historical events, land formations, customs/culture, architecture, etc.,–was, in itself, a remarkable accomplishment.

    The author’s use of Earth as narrator ultimately works quite well as a voice that respects this body’s limitations and capitalizes on its unique possibilities. It is a creative technique in many ways, just one of which is that it provides an excellent vehicle for reflection-ie., “The humans kill in fear, forgetting that in us their histories are one.” pg. 380.

    There are frequent scene shifts, and I occasionally had momentary difficulty remembering what individuals were doing when they last appeared. Everett, however, made me care enough for all the characters that I quickly adjusted to changes and was glad to be with whomever was on the page.

    The writing abounds with beautiful and poetic phrases, sentences, paragraphs. One example of Earth’s voice will illustrate: “We felt the pressure building, the peoples pressed and lured from Europe, forced from Africa, colliding with the people knit by animals and plants into the rocks of mountain ridges, the loam of silted streams. It was an inexorable movement, heaving up a mountain of pain.” pg. 330.

    This book offers positive impact for individual lives, for society, and for the environment.

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