And yet, like all the best blues music, this novel is a celebration - of endurance, of hope, of the human ability to make art out of even the darkest legacies. It is a playful, profound, and very funny read. And, no matter which side of the story we come from, it reflects us back to ourselves in entirely unexpected ways.
And yet everywhere in this novel there are subtle reminders, almost like ghosts haunting the pages, that this land is "new country" only to some and that Manifest Destiny had victims long before the loneliness and harshness of prairie life claimed its first pioneers. Reading these books side by side, one gets the sense that if Jim Burden and Thomas-Builds-a-Fire could have met, they'd have told each other the sort of stories that might have healed a continent.