Author photo

By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 

Blowin' in the Wind

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

 

April 27, 2024



Provided.

I love the song "Blowin' in the Wind," written and first sung by Bob Dylan, then performed by many folk icons including Peter, Paul and Mary and Joan Baez. The words and melody weave between war, freedom and peace, asking and answering its own questions. How many roads, how many years, how many tears? The answers are both obvious and intangible at the same time, intangible as the wind.

The Tehachapi Wind Festival at Meadowbrook Park was promoted for April 20 as a family affair of kite flying, games and food to celebrate our Tehachapi winds. Wind is such a part of our lives and I have missed the wind festivals from the 1990s.

Tehachapi winds are pretty constant, primarily blowing from west to east, sometimes bringing the scent of orange blossoms from Bakersfield and occasionally a hint of the ocean. Our winds can change suddenly from the east to west, bringing with it the warmth and dryness of the desert. A south wind can usher in unexpected turbulence and storms. Winds seem determined to bring gifts, wanted or not.

Mary Poppins came on an east wind by umbrella when she was needed by the Banks family. Without the wind, Dorothy would not have landed in Oz. Even James Patterson turned the wind into a thriller novel in his "When a Wind Blows." And poor Scarlett lost everything in "Gone with the Wind."

When I came across "The Wind Thief" by B. B. Griffith, I had to know who the thief was and how he did it. How does one steal the wind? I realized quickly that I had actually reviewed Griffith's "Follow the Crow" in February 2020. Since that time, he turned the story into a three book series titled "The Vanishing" with a fourth and fifth book added in 2022 and 2023 and one last book promised in October 2024.

If you like immersing into the lives of indigenous people, their traditions and beliefs and exploring reservation life, you will find the story from Griffith revealing as it flows quickly from one book into the next. For full effect, read the "The Vanished Series" first. But I was impatient and wanted to know about the wind, so jumped ahead. I found that the author developed the story in a way that answered a lot of questions a first time reader might have.

The heart of "The Wind Thief" is found within a tight knit group of characters, some Navajo and some white healthcare workers, who are bonded together within a great mysticism. The Navajo reservation is poor and far from thriving. An increasing lethargy accompanied by many serious health issues multiplies through a good portion of the population. They are sick and both traditional medicine and Navajo medical practices cannot slow the symptoms and numbers. And it all seems to be coming on the wind. An ill wind.

A stranger, a powerful medicine man who calls himself Jacob Dark Sky, enters the picture. And the group, a nurse, a doctor, their son, his crow and a Navajo friend feel evil stirring in the winds of their Arroyo canyon. When the people turn toward the all seeing blind medicine man, the group realizes Dark Sky is in some way controlling their people through the wind.

Empowered by their own Navajo spirit gifts, they attempt to save their people and take back the wind. But the wind is wiley. The medicine man is strong. And even death himself has no idea how to take back what is rightfully theirs and protect the community. It is an old power unleashed by a series of events, a power that wants more than just the reservation. It wants to control everything in this world, and must be extinguished at all costs.

Once I finished "The Wind Thief" I immediately downloaded the 5th book and will most certainly pre-order the 6th. Each book is full of heart and suspense and it is imperative that I find out answers. That is what makes a good book and a good writer. You keep wanting more and more, being hopeful to receive the most satisfying of endings. In this case, it seems pretty important, with the wind being held captive and all.

I am sure many of you have felt something in the wind. Sometimes it feels hopeful and new. Sometimes it makes your skin crawl. Winds lift up and down, drafts can slam hard. Even though not fully understood, we certainly respect its power and that it should remain free.

Good Books.

Good reading.

*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2024

Rendered 05/28/2024 00:39