on Aug. 18, 2015 :
In the opening chapter of "Take The Water to the Mountain," the wise man of the Arapaho tribe tells Lily, “The hills of life will call you…” Not knowing or caring what he means, Lily is determined to run away from her beloved home on the Oklahoma reservation. Without clear direction, she risks an unknown future, taking bold moves that land her on touristy South Padre Island. From the movie theatre where she finds a job to Spring Break parties that get out of control too quickly, Lily’s own naiveté and innocence are exposed, putting her very life at risk. Lily bonds with the movie projectionist, Charlie, but the unexpected abrupt visit by her sister reveals the deep-rooted issues that initially led to her escape at the onset of the story. Ultimately, Lily’s biggest test comes when she and her sister seek to reconcile. As the wise man requests, “In the ancient days, the two with quarrel were sent to the hills of life, to wash away their grievances as well as to cleanse the slopes of the mountain, so it may wash down upon the lands and our people, thus restoring tranquility to themselves as well as the tribe.” With a pouch of sacred water, Lily and her sister go forth to settle their differences once and for all. On this final trip up Pikes Peak, the two sisters reveal their deepest secrets, opening their most hurtful wounds.
This timeless story takes the reader on a rich journey through the history of Native America to the touristy South Padre Islands and back again, with twist and turns through the horror of homelessness and the excitement of a new job and new friends, past a Cajun shack falling down around oblivious line dancers, to a brave mother facing cancer and a frustrated sister with an axe to grind, testing Lily’s true resolve that nothing is more important than the love and loyalty of family.
A true coming of age story that belies the lessons of family and history and young love that takes the reader on an unpredictable quest to the highest point of forgiveness, the greatest lesson of them all. This is a quick, moving tale for sisters, as well as sons and daughters and mothers and fathers, seeking adventure both inside the world and inside their true selves.
(reviewed the day of purchase)