“Naapiikoan Winter” is about the way the different people lived in the Piikani tribes. I found it very interesting to learn about the way they lived and the things they believed as well as the different tribes. I found the author must have done a lot of research into a time long ago when the lands were the Indian's. It was amazing to travel and follow them.
Within the page the reader gets a look at the way the different tribes interacted, whether good or bad. If you let your imagination go to work, you can visualize the Indians and their lives. This isn't a surface story but a deep look into the ole' west and the Indians that were a huge part of our history. Much of that has been forgotten. This is a story of survival. A story of the day to day hard lives of the Indians and how they went about their daily living.
The author has given readers some very strong characters. You have Buffalo Stone Woman who is a Mexican girl adopted by the Piikani tribe. Then we have a Naapiikoan, Donal Thomas. He is a trader who is widely respected. There are more very interesting and believable characters. The author hasn’t sugar coated story. It goes into the harshness and the terrible struggles, the suffering that defined who these Indians were. They did what they had to, to survive! But at the same time, they were human and times were different back then. It isn't a tale of the good guy riding off into the sunset. This story hits at the core of their existence. The author keeps you questioning and wondering up to a point. And then she gives the reader enough information to make you turn that page. This is a history lesson of a time gone by, a time often forgotten and a time we can't replace. There are four parts to this book, and every one is good. This story of these Indians is part of what made it possible for us to be here.
If you love historical fiction, don't miss out on this story.
At the turn of a new century, changes unimagined are about to unfold.
THE WOMAN: Kidnapped by the Apaches, a Mexican woman learns the healing arts. Stolen by the Utes, she is sold and traded until she ends up with the Piikáni. All she has left are her skills—and her honor. What price will she pay to ensure a lasting place among the People?
THE MAN: Raised in a London charitable school, a young man at the end of the third of a seven year term of indenture to the Hudson’s Bay Company is sent to the Rocky Mountains to live among the Piikáni for the winter to learn their language and to foster trade. He dreams of his advancement in the company, but he doesn’t reckon the price for becoming entangled in the passions of the Piikáni.
THE LAND: After centuries of conflict, Náápiikoan traders approach the Piikáni, powerful members of the Blackfoot Confederation. The Piikáni already have horses and weapons, but they are promised they will become rich if they agree to trap beaver for Náápiikoan. Will the People trade their beliefs for the White Man’s bargains?
Alethea Williams is the author of Willow Vale, the story of a Tyrolean immigrant’s journey to America after WWI. Willow Vale won a 2012 Wyoming State Historical Society Publications Award. In her second novel, Walls for the Wind, a group of New York City immigrant orphans arrive in Hell on Wheels, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Walls for the Wind is a WILLA Literary Award finalist, a gold Will Rogers Medallion winner, and placed first at the Laramie Awards in the Prairie Fiction category.
Partially based on the works of Canadian trader, explorer, and mapmaker David Thompson, Náápiikoan Winter spans a continent, examining the cultures in flux at the passing of an era and the painful birth of another.