I’m usually not one of those readers who sits and finishes a book in a day. Unless a story is really compelling, I get distracted easily. I have a hundred other things to do each day, and I do them without being drawn back to my book. I also usually keep track of a storyline, so I can return to a book a month later and continue where I left off.
But Touching Spirit Bear drew me in and held me in the story. It moved me to tears more than once and was compelling enough to keep me reading, pushing away the guilt I usually feel when I ought to be doing something else but find myself reading instead.
First off, I need to say that I am no one to talk about whether the references to Tlingit traditions are true or not. I honestly have no idea. Before this book, I had no clue about the concept of Circle Justice.
I loved the story because it struck a chord. The rawness of emotion wrung my heart.
Cole is a juvenile delinquent who has gone one step too far by smashing his classmate Peter’s skull into the sidewalk. This is not the first time he is in trouble with the law, and Peter’s lawyer is determined that Cole be tried by an adult court this time. Jail seems to be the only future in store for Cole, and he is determined to find a way out. He is angry, feels wronged, and wants the world to be afraid of him. No one cares for him anyway.
Until Garvey, the parole officer. Things change when Garvey talks of a different sort of punishment. one that is not intended as punishment at all, but as healing. Determined to win and show everyone who’s boss, Cole messes up yet again. He realises that it is his fault only when it is almost too late, so late that he seems to have run out of last chances.
Touching Spirit Bear is a story about strength, forgiveness and learning. It is about discovering that we are part of a larger circle, a circle where one action affects everyone. There’s just one way to heal, and Cole needs to figure out for himself what that is.
A beautiful story, Touching Spirit Bear reminds us of who we are, and how we are both insignificant and powerful in our own ways.
|Title||Touching Spirit Bear|
|Rating (out of 5)||4.5|