Comments on Red Clay, Blood River

I have received extensive comments from Jane Young, a published author in North Carolina, about Red Clay, Blood River. I have excerpted her reflections here.

Thanks so much for giving voice to some of what Earth knows, and for helping your mortal readers “see” and “feel” the saga of history in which we are truly one with each other and one with the universe–each as small in the scheme of things as a grain of Earth’s sand, yet each a vessel of history-changing potential.

I feel enormous appreciation for the amount of research necessary to write this book—your study of historical events, land, tools, customs/culture, architecture, and on and on, within so many settings. …. What a remarkable accomplishment!

The use of Earth as narrator was, I think, creative; and, though demanding on you as a writer, my opinion is that it ultimately worked quite well to have what amounted to an “almost omnipotent narrator” accept the limitations and rights of this “body.” For one thing, it’s a great vehicle for reflection—ie., “The humans kill in fear, forgetting that in us their histories are one.” pg. 380. …

It’s pretty amazing to me that–in spite of the frequent scene shifts and my occasional difficulty in immediately remembering what we were doing when I was last with those now on the page—you were able to make me care enough for all of them that I would quickly adjust and be glad to be back in touch with whomever had reappeared.
There are so many beautiful and poetic phrases, sentences, paragraphs, it seems pointless to identify a few.

However, I’ll type one (in no way suggesting its superiority) to simply acknowledge that as I read, I was aware of your skill in this realm: “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.