Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: The Revenant

The Revenant
The Revenant by Sonia Gensler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5 Stars**

To escape a life she doesn’t want, Wilhemina, impersonates a classmate and takes her teaching job out in the Cherokee nation. Once she arrives at the school, she finds she isn’t prepared to be a teacher of girls her own age. She is also thrust into the middle of a murder mystery. The previous year a classmate was murdered and Willie now inhabits her old room. Things start going bump in the night and the murdered girl’s former roommates are being inexplicably hurt. When Willie starts asking questions she starts to fall for one of the students at the boys school, who is also a suspect in the murder.

Typically, I don’t care for “Westerns” and I went into this book not knowing that it takes place during the “Wild West” era…but I got sucked in right away. So don’t let the time and place fool you, this story could take place in any time period, the author just happened to find a historical place with it’s own ghost story and fashioned this story around it.

As someone who loves to read about other cultures, real or fabricated for a story, this was fascinating in the culture of Cherokees of the time. This group of Cherokee student’s status was based on how much “white man” was in their ancestry. The more “white” you were, the higher your status, at least amongst the townpeople and the other Indian students.

Willie was an incredibly selfish character. I won’t lie, I wanted to slap her quite a few times. Man did she have some growing up to do…which she had actually accomplished by the end of the book. The school Head Mistress, was a stereotypical “harridan”, and Eli kept me guessing. I couldn’t decide if he was a charming slimeball or a knight in shining armor…he turned out how I thought he would…but I did learn which it was until the very end. For a moment I was afraid Ms. Gensler wasn’t going to reveal which one he was.

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