Drugs. Action. Revenge. Crime running deep. These are all ways to describe Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Widen.
Normally, a book like Winter Counts would not appeal to me. You know I am a girl who is big on romance and what I would consider to be contemporary fiction, especially with female leads. But the description that book of the month had for this book made me a little more than curious and I had to add it to my Septemeber book of the month box.
Winter Counts tells the story of Virgil Wounded Horse. Virgil, is a late twenty-something, Native American man living on a reservation. He is trying to raise his nephew Nathan, and make some type of income through vigilantly work. Yes, Virgil is a vigilante who goes about making money from others on the reservation by beating those who wronged them and their family members and aren't prosecuted by the reservation police. We come into the story, at a point where Virgil is offered a case that he can't refuse. Someone is bringing drugs onto the reservation and the drugs have touched his family, though is Nathan's nephew. This time the work is personal.
While this, not a book that I would pick up on my own accord, I did like it. It took me a bit longer to get into it and finish it than it normally would for me, but that's okay. I thought it was interesting that Virgil was going on two journies at the same time. One to find out who was bringing drugs to the reservation, while also discovering is native roots and who he is as a Native American man. I can't be sure of the accuracy of the way native culture and reservation life that was presented in the book, but either way, it was an interesting look into what is potentially happening, and what life may look like for a subset of people. I think it was an interesting choice to have Virgil go on twin journies, but I liked how he grew within his spirituality, and how that changed not only him but his relationships with those around him.
I do think that this book could have been better written. Although it was written in a typical story fashion, it read more like a series of journal entries Which I didn't like too much. It also started out too slow for me and took a while to build into the page-turner that it ended up being.
Overall this was a solid read, and I am glad to have stepped out of my book comfort zone to pick up Winter Counts.
Zuhri's Final Thoughts
Star Rating - 3 Stars
Reading Scenario - I don't have a good ready scenario for you, but if you like a crime, revenge-seeking novel, or tv show this is the book for you.
Book Club Recommendation - No.