Kristen Millares Young has written a cymbal clash of a debut. Claudia—a Mexican anthropologist fleeing her life in Seattle after her husband and sister announce their affair— collides with Peter—a prodigal son returning to the Makah reservation for the first time since his dad’s murder to help his mother, Maggie, whose memory is failing. The messiness of Young’s characters is balanced with her meticulous research and thoughtful critique of the ways Claudia harms Maggie, her primary source. Both Young’s journalistic prowess and delight in slippery emotions shine through this novel.
–Ellis, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA