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Cedar Woman (The Cedar Woman Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is both sad and happy, with tears of joy you see Lena meet the man she thinks makes her whole, and then tears of sadness as he is taken away. You meet all the people relevant in Lena's life from her childhood friends to the people she meets at her first powwow. There is exquisite detail in the rituals of the Native American's and their history and culture.
The book is well written and is, I think, the first in the series, which means there will be more! Something I look forward to very much! Well-written and includes recipes for Native American foods and drinks. Highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in this culture or loves an historical romance. Great book and I hope there will be more!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I, like many women, am so excited when I find a book with the story of a woman who is strong, captivating and intelligent. It makes me sit up and say "yes, these are the women I know, the women I want my daughters to be, the women I want my granddaughters to read about. I found it here within the pages of Cedar Woman.
The story revolves around a native American woman who builds her life on her love of family, her culture, religion, faith and most of all belief in herself. The lovely part of this story is that it doesn't matter if your beliefs center around the burning of sage or the smell of incense on Sunday morning, The Great Spirit or The Trinity it is easy to understand the role faith plays in this story. But I would not consider this a religious book. It is a book of strength and character but gives us a beautiful insight into the native American religious beliefs.
Since so many have already done a synopsis of the story within their reviews I am going to concentrate on the writing and the flow of the story.
Ms. Welch has not only given us characters to believe in, she has made them believable. Not always an easy task. Lena is a woman you can sit down at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee and talk about life, men, children, family and the goings on of your neighborhood. She would be a friend you could count on. When an author creates someone who touches your heart and makes you feel at home with you know you are reading a skillfully created novel.
The writing flows with ease and style, keeping the reader engaged and moving forward without having to look back to see what was missed. The dialogue is realistic and moves the story forward at the correct pacing blending in with the narration effortlessly.
We are given a dictionary at the end of the novel for explanation of native words which was helpful but for most of the time the words were added so well within the context of the sentences they were self-explanatory. I found the native American words to be fun and interesting with a chance to learn some new phrases to add to my everyday speech.
Also, as a bonus, there are several recipes at the end of the book that look delicious. I have a none-too-secret love of fry bread so I am going to try it at home.
This is a book we recommend highly and will be asking our friends, neighbors and daughters to read. Not only for the wonderful story but also for the educational value. We have read dozens of books with Native American culture but this is one of the few that have brought it to life with so much finesse'.
Karen Bryant Doering,
Parent's Little Black Book
The book, Cedar Woman by Debra Shiveley Welch, opened my eyes to all that is possible. It shows how a young woman learned to discover friendships, love at first sight, lost love and rediscovered love. This amazing woman with the spirit of an eagle held hopes and dreams close to her soul and showed others how to grasp life and follow their hearts; to believe in family; respect and honor their elders and learn from them as she grew like the trees around her; honor the world and discover its beauty and elegance; to take on disaster with a firm hand; and follow the path to keep love and strength of family pliable.
This book holds the secrets of becoming one with your heart and learning to discover your heart through ancient American Indian customs, where family is a home for all, and to open the doors for others to walk through and be loved as if they were true blood. To read this book is a pleasure, gracefully written and filled with dreams of passion that will keep you glued to the pages. I give this book a 5 Kazoo's. You will not be disappointed. A great book to read with your children, this book will take you into a world of learning new and exciting possibilities within yourself and others around you. Finding recipes to try and poems of spirit and wonder to talk about and find yourself within these spiritual words. Dvora Swickle 5 Kazoo's.
Cedar Woman struck me very early on with the powerful emotions a reader could feel from just the written word. It grabs you so quickly that even events early on make you feel WITH the characters, not FOR them. I know that men may not be her target audience, but you GUYS will be missing out on something extraordinary if you pass over this book.
The inclusion of a plethora of Native American words and phrases was done ion such a seamless manner that the reader stops seeing them as you become engrossed in this story. A translation is provided in footnotes, but you no longer find yourself looking after a while. You are simply too engrossed in the story and it almost seems to make itself understood when some of the Native Sioux words appear in the dialog.
Throughout the story, I was struck by how similar yet different cultures that live side-by-side can. be. Having a very good friend who is a member of one of the Pacific Northwest tribes, I recalled early on our struggles to communicate because our styles were so oddly different. This story gives you a look at a love story from a cultural perspective that you may not even realize exists.
The one thought that came over and over as I read was that this book is "The Notebook" for a Native American audience. Having enjoyed some wonderful films that I would have missed otherwise, I can attest to the striking difference in films from and about the Native Americans and our own. This story is ripe for a Native film maker to scoop up. (See "Skins" to really understand what I am trying to say here.)
Cedar Woman by Debra Shiveley Welch is a wonderful story that will make you feel things with the characters as you read. Ladies will love this, and guys...if you want to score some huge points, make this the first book on your "Couples" reading list and share in it together.
"Facing the west, she extended the smoking bowl and intoned: "Grandfather of the West, this is Cedar Woman, I ask that you keep my feet true and on the Good Red Road. I ask that you guide me on this day, and all days, so that I may continue on this path. I ask that you help in my daily life. Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related."
As a young child Lena sees a hummingbird caught in a spider's web and proceeds to let it free. This is no ordinary child the town agrees as the bird then seems to follow her around. Cedar Woman is the story of Lena's life as she journeys from her home as a young girl to Columbus where chance encounters lead her to her life's true path - that of an extraordinary woman.
Fully researched, filled with plenty of facts about Native American life and references to actual ceremonies and Native American Prayers, Cedar Woman knows of which it speaks. Written authoritatively in a poetic image filled manner, this story draws pictures for you of peoples' lives and interactions masterfully showing that in the end we are what we were in the beginning "Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related."
As a delightful bonus included with the book are recipes of many of the foods mentioned in the story including Fried Deer Liver, Cowichcan Candy (salmon/maple syrup and brown sugar candy), and Buffalo Stew featuring wild turnips.
To help in the use and translation of the Native American language used in the book, Welch also includes a dictionary with the meaning and phonetics. There are three dialects in the Lakota language and there is no standardized spelling. Welch chose the spelling and pronunciation of the words in keeping with the dialect of her sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau, who is of the Lakota Plains Native Americans.
Finally it is worth noting that a percentage of royalties are donated to "Operation Smile.
Fully entertaining, Cedar Woman is a story that reaches far beyond the boundaries of its pages.
Reviewer: Wendy Thomas, Allbooks Reviews.