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I was a princess, for a while. My parents overcame their early poverty by becoming very successful. As a kid, I showed horses and water-skied behind my dad's red-hot ski boat. My life as a princess ended when a drunk driver ran into my father head-on in 1964, killing him.
Not instantly, though. My dad's death was the stuff of horror movies and plunged my family into years of darkness.
My old life vanished. I lived at a below poverty level income for a while. What happened in the following decades opened my eyes. I've seen and lived the over-privileged existence I describe in the Bloodsong Series. I've seen how it can warp those who are lost in it. I've seen how the power of money can mask mental illness and allow evil to ruin lives.
Want to know why a San Francisco-born, Silicon Valley-raised woman is obsessed with Native Americans? After I'd drafted a few thousand pages of the Bloodsong books, I had this giant Ahah! At least half of the characters were Native Americans. Why? I don't think I'd ever seen an Indian.
I realized that they had lived the lite version of what happened to Native Americans. They had the kingdom--the entire continent--and lost it. I knew how that felt. They were treated abominably for centuries, and had the worst abuse hurled at them. I know about that too.
My writing has a bite. My life has had a bite. Recovering from what happened to me took many years. And I have recovered. What was legitimately mine came back to me, along with the fruit of my own labor.
Now for my "regular bio": I've been in school a very long time and have two advanced degrees. I've had prestigious careers. My writing has won thirty national awards. Several of my books are Amazon Bestsellers. I'm very happily married; my husband and I have been together forty-two years. I have three grown children and two grandchildren. We live on our California horse ranch and love it. This year, I got a mule and adore her. My riding life has been extended by my long-eared friend, Annie.
on Nov. 08, 2009 :
What Pulitzer-winner John McPhee is to environmental fiction, Sandy Nathan is to both spiritual fiction and non-fiction. Nathan's fictional "Numenon" merges two parallel narratives (one centered on preparations for a Native American spiritual gathering, the other an unusual business trip via corporate RV) with a dramatic clash in the novel's page-turning final chapters.
In the process, Nathan's story-telling affords an insider's glimpse into the disparate realms of a Silicon Valley hi-tech tycoon and a Native American spiritual guru, and the historical events that bring them together...fictional histories replete with real life lessons for us all.
If the unusual combination of corporate intrique and espionage alongside pitched battle for the soul are not sufficient to keep the reader's attention, Nathan also continues to establish herself as an expert in another compelling category: equine fiction! Nathan knows horses, and their place in "Numenon" should be satisfying to both life-long horse-lovers and horse novices.
The only readers who may wish to proceed with caution are newly minted MBA's (this reviewer includes himself in this readership segment), as Numenon reads in part as a caution to those hell-bent on taking over the corporate world, and the damage such unbridled greed and ambition can inflict not only on others, but on one's soul.
The conclusion is that Sandy Nathan includes a little something for everyone in "Numenon," and in the process establishes herself as a must-read author!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 26, 2009 :
Sandy Nathan creates a world where the giant Numenon Corporation and its founder Will Duane are seemingly all powerful. Will's people have learned that they bow to his wishes or they are out with no second chances. There is no middle ground and no limit to the greed driven ambition shown by Will's "warriors." But Will has a secret stalker as well as a mysterious woman in his past. He takes his people with him and goes on a spiritual retreat, a meeting, led by Grandfather, a Native American shaman. But reaching the site of Grandfather's retreat, The Mogollon Bowl, proves far more difficult than Will or his warriors could have imagined. Spiritual forces fight against evil and Will is nearly killed.
Ms. Nathan has done a superb job with this book, especially with the spiritual elements. Her character development is so well-done I found myself feeling understanding and pity for some of the characters even as I despised their behavior. The desert setting for most of the book is beautifully brought to life and the writing style drew me in until I couldn't stop reading.
Not all plot elements are resolved at the end since this book is part of a series. But an excerpt from the next book is included and you will want to read on.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 25, 2009 :
Leading Numenon, the largest and most powerful corporation on the Earth, Will Duane carries a secret. Haunted for years by the memory of his demanding and verbally abusive father, Will compensates by driving for ever greater success at all costs. Ethics, faithfulness, relationships, all take a back seat to his overriding lust for power. But the success he achieves leaves him empty. Forever stalked by a dark presence creating a pall over everything in his life, Will finds solace by retreating within himself by physically punishing his body through excessive exercise. Nearing exhaustion, something special happens. A heightened state of awareness occurs through a glowing column of light beginning at the base of his spine. Will achieves what mystics call - Kundalini - here he is safe; here is where he finds peace; here is where he finds answers.
From his lean-to in remote New Mexico, a Native American shaman-known by many names but by his followers as "grandfather"-senses the gathering of evil. It will be at the annual gathering of his spirit warriors, simply called "the meeting", where this darkness will descend and collide with grandfather's spiritual forces and the corporate power of Numenon.
In Numenon, national award winning author Sandy Nathan takes the reader through the parallel journeys of two very different worlds - that of corporate deals and greed juxtaposed with that of Native American Indians on the reservation. Alternating between these two realities, Nathan explores each of the characters histories - their lives, choices, and experiences which have led them to the present conditions. Nearing the spiritually charged ground where the meeting is to occur, each of the characters feel the intensity of what they are about to experience and each must choose their path forward.
This is the first book in the Bloodsong series by Nathan. Those expecting a tidy closure to all of the plot's elements will instead find a continuously building pressure cooker leading to a climatic meeting of forces to be resolved in future volumes. This is a very enjoyable read and those interested in mysticism and Native American Culture will thoroughly enjoy Numenon.
(reviewed the day of purchase)