Swim the River by Stephy Smith

Swim the River by Stephy Smith
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Young Adult
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Since Amelia ‘Falcon Woman’ Tucker was a small child, she heard the stories of how her mother was Rescued from the River by her father. Rising Wolf held her heart captive for years before he asked for her hand in marriage. Although the river had always called to her, she never knew how much she loved the stalwart Indian until she had to Swim the River to save him.

Amelia had a real crush on Rising Wolf, but she knew it would never amount to anything. She was a half-breed and Rising Wolf was an important warrior in his tribe. He’d undoubtedly marry a full-blooded Indian tribe member.

This author takes you for a walk back in history. The story is set in the time period when Native Americans were first being confined to reservations. Indians had their own ceremonies, their own land, and their own lifestyles. The Army was only interested in confining them and had no remorse in the way they abused the Indians and killed the warriors. All they wanted was to have them confined. And, once they did, they stole the meat the government sent to feed them and told them they couldn’t hunt their own food. This is a shameful piece of history that the author shows accurately. It doesn’t take long until you’re rooting for the Indians and hating the bad white men, too.

Amelia is amazed when Rising Wolf makes an offer for her. She lets him know she won’t live in marriage without love, and he tells her she need not worry about that. She knows he’s a big part of her life, but she doesn’t find out just how much she loves him until a bear attacks him and he almost drowns in the river. She’s deathly afraid of the river because her mother almost drowned in it long ago. There’s no hesitation on her part, though. She leaps in, fights the bear, and drags her husband out of the river. Unfortunately, he’s been injured very badly and no one knows if he will live…

Ms. Smith’s tale is factual and leads you down an ugly path in our history. She makes Amelia’s family and the Indian tribe feel alive and vital. Love is a strong power when shared. Her words flow well and make you feel like you’re living in that time era. This story is suitable for young adults as well as adults. History can be a good teacher if we listen.

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