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characters Rush of Shadows

When American pioneers set their hearts on a California valley where Indians had been living for thousands of years a period of uneasy appraisal emerged followed by conflict and soon enough by genocide The epic gr I loved this book It illustrated the social history of the time perfectly I enjoyed the characters and Bell s paintings of them The outlines of those characters were filled in just a little in each chapter I was ready to hate Law until I started to see how Mellie was bending him Coincidentally in 7th grade English class Mrs Bell assigned us a writing project to exercise the same style a diary or a personal history used in this novel the great memory of doing that bit of homework definitely was a positive when reading this book The end of the novel absolutely broke my heart and made me realize that there was a bit to it when the army rounded up and corralled native Americans as they did Congratulations to Mrs Bell on such a wonderful novel It would actually make a great film

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Rush of Shadows

Eed and violence of the 1850's and 60's has been brushed aside by history conveniently forgotten in the pride of conuest Willful ignorance and cruelty terror and desperation were common in that time but there were I ve always had a weird fascination with this period of history despite not actually knowing much about it shamefully I remember a book my dad had when I was growing up which was essentially just photos of Native American Indians going about their lives and I thought it was beautiful and magical So when I came across this book and was asked to be part of the blog tour I was delighted And I still amRush of Shadows is about Mellie and Law a recently married couple who become some of the very first settlers in an area of California an area inhabited by Indians Mellie is sweet hearted yet extremely strong willed with a degree of irreverence about her You get the feeling from the start that she s not entirely happy about her lot in life and has reservations about her husband Law but she goes along with his plans regardless When they arrive at the place Law has his mind set on he is concerned with building their home and finding sustainable work leaving Mellie feeling isolated and alone This is when she meets Bah Bah as Mellie names her is the opposite of Mellie yet somehow they are similar in many ways tooTo Law s dismay Mellie finds herself seeking Bah out and But as time goes on and settlers arrive bringing with them their ignorance and fear of the Indians it gets increasingly harder for Mellie and Bah s friendship to develop This book was such a rollercoaster On one hand I loved the way the Indian s were portrayed in that the way they lived was such a mystery to the settlers it made them seem so spiritual and almost magical but on the other hand the way the settlers saw them and feared them made me so angry I liked that Mellie had her own mind and stood up to her husband on occasion and that he enjoyed it but she also let the influence of others impact on her relationship with Bah and her familyThere is massive scope in this novel We start at the very beginnings of settlement when there were only two houses in the region to the development of a town and a government I found this really interesting and enjoyed the contrast of this story to that of Bah s who learns a lot from Mellie but will never fully understand her or their ways which I guess works both ways Bah and her family s lives are in danger from the settlers Everything that was once theirs nature wildlife freedom is slowly taken away from them to the point that they begin to starve and their traditions are basically damned but she never blames Mellie or lashes out such is her spirit I found Rush of Shadows dramatic emotional and infuriating but all in a good way Catherine Bell did such a great job of juggling multiple narratives something which I often dislike in books I thought it was written really beautifully and the amount of research she did comes across in every single line you should see the list of sources It is definitely one of those books that gives you food for thought as the themes here are universal and can be applied to any era

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Moments too of nobility and compassion ingenuity and forgiveness ualities which might have prevailed if certain things had been different Rush of Shadows brings to life two freethinking women Mellie a white and B In 1855 Mellie and Law Pickett journey north from San Francisco to the wilderness of Northern California to homestead They build a cabin and begin clearing land The nearest neighbors are miles away Mellie is pregnant and the effort of the move takes its toll on her Gradually she meets an Indian woman named Bah and a friendship blossoms between them despite Law s prejudices and stern disapproval Bah aids Mellie when it comes time to give birth As the novel progresses the plight of Native Americans who suffered illness and starvation is brilliantly portrayedThis is a story of contrasts of two women from vastly different cultures who struggle to survive in an new and ever changing world of unusual circumstances Powerful narration and writing truly made the story truly come alive with a feel of authenticity It is a historically accurate fictionalization of America s frontier and fascinating history Beautiful indeed


10 thoughts on “Rush of Shadows

  1. says:

    This book was written in chronicle style like a collection of journals from different people put together to narrate a single storyIt begins with a young woman Mellie who was moving with her husband to settle in the South and then comes in contact with some Native Americans—at the time Indians—witnessing the harsh and unfair treatment upon them The story emphasizes her unusual relationship with a native

  2. says:

    Rush of Shadows is a must read for historical novels The story takes place on an American period that is well known though is focused on the difficult relationships between Native Americans and the new settlers

  3. says:

    I loved this book It illustrated the social history of the time perfectly I enjoyed the characters and Bell’s paintings of them T

  4. says:

    Beautiful handling of a poignant and complicated relationship set in California when it was a frontier for white settlers The visual imagery is so strong that I kept thinking of movie scenes while reading it Really powerful

  5. says:

    I've always had a weird fascination with this period of history despite not actually knowing much about it shamefully I remember a book my dad had when I was growing up which was essentially just photos of Native American Indians go

  6. says:

    This is Mellie and Law Pickett’s story In 1855 they travel from San Francisco to a Northern California valley where he had established a cabin for them but little else They have a few neighbors far and few between and neighborly Indians This

  7. says:

    In 1855 Mellie and Law Pickett journey north from San Francisco to the wilderness of Northern California to homestead They build a ca

  8. says:

    When white settlers move into the valley north of San Francisco in the mid 1800’s most of them take the land as their right without regard for those people already living there Can they live peacefully with the native tribes After all this land has been their home for centuries Unfortunately we all know the answer Rush of Shadows covers 12 years in the lives of a small but growing group of settlers and a small but diminishing gr

  9. says:

    I have always wondered about the native inhabitants of California my home state In A Rush of Shadows Catherine Bell takes us back to the pioneer days of the state The story is told through both sides the native and the immigrants for a balanced picture of what each group faced Conflicts and friendships recognition of the need to work together to surviveNot everyone adjust easily and those characters add validity to the story This

  10. says:

    A very engaging and complex story told by the view point of two very different women who had become the very good friends despite the hardships they had to face and overcome They were very likeable strong willed independent thinkin