DreamTrek: Journey Through the Night’s Door
In this novel, we follow the story of narrator Dina on her journey to find her son, whom she had thought stillborn three years prior. Dina has a respected position in her community, the Bitterroot Confederacy of Indian Nations in Florida. She is the wife of Aaron Burning Rain, a preacher who follows “the Jesus Way.” Dina, herself, has a full life of caring for aging relatives, as well as taking a leadership position of the youth of the church. But all of this stable and satisfying life begins to fall apart as Dina finds her past coming back to her haunt her, her child from a past relationship she had thought dead held captive by mysterious strangers. Dina’s past redefines her present and future as she tries to regain her child at all cost.
The story held my attention in its complex plot. Also interesting were the details of tribal and church life. The characters, rivalries, and gossip are typical of any small community. Dina, like many Native Americans today, is integrated in American daily life of cars, stores, cafes, and so forth. She, at one point, studied to be a nurse at a community college—training she did not complete due to marriage. She also is very much a member of a traditional community. She takes on an expected gender role, for example, in her work of nurturing young people and caring for elders. She is deferential to her husband, acting as his helpmate and yielding to his judgment in most matters. However, Dina begins shedding her submissive role in pursuing the goal of getting her child back. At the same time, Dina is reading the journal of a mysterious young woman, Noccalula, who was given away by her father into an abusive marriage, which she escapes. Dina begins to identify with her.
Some points of the narrative with its many subplots did confuse me, such as the complete details on the kidnapping of Dina’s son. This may be deliberate, however, reflecting the traditional Native narrative that blends reality, dreams, and storytelling.
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|Page Count||526 pages|
|Publisher||Dorrance Publishing Company|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|