Friday, March 25, 2011

Elks resolve reviewed by fran lewis

Elks Resolve
Author Elaine Littau
Reviewed by fran lewis

God will often guide you to do what needs to be done for others and for yourself. As the novel opens we meet Peter and his family. Peter’s wife has died and he is left with five children. His daughter Miranda is plagued by nightmares and dreams of her mother’s death and refuses to speak. She seems to be going through the motions of life. As Elk comes to their door and introduces them to many new ways to get food and survive he teaches them about faith in God, and believing in themselves giving them the tools needed to survive and encouraging Miranda to seek help from those she loves and have faith that things will get better.

Belonging, fitting in, everyone needs to have a place in this world. What would happen if you found out that your heritage and birth were not what you thought they were? One man’s search for acceptance, one man’s hope for salvation Elk goes on a quest to find his place and the true meaning of belonging. Riddled with prejudice, abuse and scorned by those he thought of or called friend, Elk, a White Man, living with the UTE Indians learns the meaning of discrimination, hate, abuse, loss and fear as she searches for his roots and where it all began.

A family needs food. Starvation is in their immediate horizon as Elk miraculously appears at the home of Peter Hanson and his five children. As we meet this family we learn of the death of their mother, their meager or almost nonexistent food supply and one little girl named Miranda whose life is plagued with nightmares, and whose dreams are filled with the memories of her mother’s death. Withdrawn, sullen and sad Elk is able to draw her out of her shell and encourages her to embrace her memories and seek support from her grandparents. Helping and teaching the four children and their father to use the land and to hunt for their food, Elk leaves his mark on them helping them to survive on their own. Added to that he helps them understand the importance of having a strong faith in God and believing that he will guide you and help you find the right path.

But, Elk’s journey is far from over as he returns to his village only to feel estranged and rebuked by some and accepted by others still feeling displaced and unsure of where he belongs. Added to that the girl he was supposed to marry is given to someone else since as she states: He was gone too long and her father gave her to Tall Trees as a slave or she would be turned out and all alone. Although Elk’s parents cared for him and taught him the ways of their tribe, he leaves his village, returns to the White Man’s mission school to seek the answers he so desires to find his own place in a world that seems to shun him.

Miranda now living with her grandparents learns some hard and fast lessons too but is befriended by the woman whose children’s she minds and decides to return home to her family too. Will Miranda ever find a place for herself, will Elk learn that who is he is just fine? That remains to be seen as author Elaine Littau takes the reader on a journey along with Elk to find the answers to his heritage, his real life had he not been sold to his parents the meaning of love. Will Miranda ever find her niche too?

As Elk learns his true heritage, meets his birth mother secrets are unfolded and he has to decide where his life belongs and with who. Meeting his new family, his twin brother Ted, Elk enters a new world filled with many different changes. Ted and his father Fred are honorable and good men who deplore what is being done to many young girls. Pretending to purchase several young girls as slaves, he takes them home, helps them find families or cares for them as past of his. Miranda finds her way out of her situation after being enslaved by the owner of a brothel and she too winds up with Ted, Elk and his family. While each young girl, including Miranda finds her place in her new life; Elk seeks guidance and strength from God. Relationships are formed, ties are knotted and decisions are made.

Returning to his UTE tribe Elk learns the fate of Morning Song, her husband and once again faces adversity, sadness and dealing with his feelings through his faith in God. But, Elk has other demons as the voices in his head lead him astray and overtake his sensibility sending him to Fred to find answers to questions that might send someone else over the edge but not Elk.

Deciding to remain with his White Family Elk learns the true meaning of loyalty, love, devotion and true happiness. Ted, his twin white brother hopes to win Miranda’s heart. What happens and their fate you need to read and learn for yourself. When you resolve something a problem or a situation you come to a conclusion about how something needs to be completed, handled or done. Elk’s Resolve and the word itself has multiple meanings as he must decide how to “Resolve,” or decide where to live-UTE or White Man. How to handle 2 sets of parents and where his heart truly belongs. Take this exciting journey back in time and learn that Elk, Miranda, Ted, Purdy, Luke, Nan and Fred will forever endear as they did this reviewer. Outstanding, novel, inspirational, quite compelling novel that teaches the reader the meaning of family love, author Elaine Littau penned a novel that gives the reader much pause for thought as Elk’s future is in his own hands. Characters that are vividly portrayed, events that you can picture in your mind, expertly crafted plot that draws you in from the first page until you find out Elk’s true destiny and where he ultimately winds up, Elk’s Resolve is an outstanding first rate novel. I also resolve to read more of this author’s work. I give this book Five Special Elks and one Miranda
I never give stars when I truly love the book.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer 

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