Monday, August 6, 2012

An Echo Through the Snow-Andrea Thalasinos

An Echo Through the Snow

Andrea Thalasinos

Forge, Aug 21 2012, $23.99

ISBN: 9780765330369

In 1929 Stalin sends his army into Siberia. His troops viciously destroy anyone in their path. The Siberian Chukchi people watch in horror as their homes and their culture are devastated by the invaders. On the day they become engaged, Keeper of the Guardians Jeaantaa's fiancé dies; her Chukchi people hold her culpable.

In 1992 Wisconsin, Rosalie meets Smokey a neglected Siberian husky at a junk yard. Familiar with abuse and phobic shy, she bonds with the dog. Rosalie begins dreaming of a grieving woman standing on ice. Haunted by Jeaantaa, Rosalie obtains Smokey over her raging husband’s spittle. Not long after that rescue, Jan and Dave hire Rosalie as a dog handler for their sled and kennel.

Rotating viewpoints between the lead women who share in common a love of huskies, readers obtain a deep look at two diverse cultures. The destruction of the aboriginal Chukchi is harrowing and timely while readers will admire their resiliency. Rosalie’s subplot is well written but difficult to accept. Why anyone professionally involved in dog sled racing would hire a worker with a poor record and no experience to become their dog handler is beyond me; albeit even accepting mystical channeling from Jeaantaa that turns Rosalie into an overnight superstar.

Harriet Klausner

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