November 9, 2013

Review:Stone & Silt by Harvey Chute

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.
At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.
Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.
Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love.
Silt & Stone tells the story of a sixteen-year-old half Indian half White young woman in 1863. It's a difficult time for a young girl who is a 'half-breed'. Unfortunately, Nikaia lives in town with her parents and younger sister so she gets bullied quite frequently by the townies. She is at the age where she needs to start thinking about getting married. Plus, the Smallpox has been killing Indians, her beloved aunt being the latest victim. Nikaia's life is miserable until she meets Yee Sim, the new Chinese boy at school. When Nikaia and Yee begin spending their time exploring the woods, Nikaia makes a big mistake and sets her father up for a murder charge. Frantically, she tries to uncover the real killer but Yee Sim has decided that it's wrong for an Indian and a Chinese teenager to be involved. Completely alone, Nikaia puts herself in very real danger but family and friendship comes through for Nikaia in some unlikely places.
Usually I find historical novels a bit dry because of boring facts and dates. Author Harvey Chute made this a fun read by combining unusual aspects of history along with young adult romance and adventure. He touches on riverboats, gold miners, the saloons and the young women forced to work there, the food commonly eaten during this time period, and the goods at the mercantile that Yee Sim's family owns. The thrill of Nikaia attempting to decipher clues in order to find stolen gold and free her father from jail makes this a book that the reader won't want to put down until the end.
Publisher-Red Adept Publishing
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by~Cindi
Thank you to the publisher for the donation of this book to the Read for your future Book program in exchange for a honest review.

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