Monday, October 17, 2011
Warrior's Song reviewed by fran lewis
Author Thomas M. Hill
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Dreams can haunt you throughout your day or your entire life. Sometimes they link in your mind so long after trying to relive them and understand their meaning they can hamper you in many ways. Parker Shaw has a disturbing dream that places him somewhere in the 17th century. Allowing himself to shake off the dream and being his day, Parker continues with his normal morning routine, hears his mother’s voice reminding him to eat breakfast, and leaves to attend his first class. A dream stored in his memory bank, he enters his philosophy class and becomes engrossed in the discussion and even receives a huge compliment from the Professor during and after class.
Sometimes our past and things we have not reconciled come full circle in our future in order for us to move on and grow. Parker enlightens the reader about his childhood, his adolescence and the many friends he made along the way. The pranks they pulled on others, the mean things they did to other kids and the poor scoutmasters who quit, left or had to endure Parker and his three friends. But, one evening when he and his friends decided to venture out the memory or vision he sees before returning to camp would haunt him in the present. One young Indian boy named Jimmy who they bullied and tormented and one vision of an older Indian man that appeared before he returned to his campsite and then disappeared might link the events from the past into the present as I continue my review of Warrior’s Song by author Thomas M. Hill.
Parker returns home after completing his junior year and once again his father has his time mapped out. Thinking that he should follow in his footsteps he gets him an interview with his old law firm. Much to his parent’s chagrin or dismay this does not fit into Parker’s life’s plan, which is quite different. Following the path of others is not Parker’s way nor is doing what others want him to do. Parker wants to learn how to be more self-reliant and survive on his own. Parker Shaw wants his own right of passage into manhood not that of his brother Nathan or anyone else. Native Americans as the author relates often allow their sons to go off into the wilderness without any food or water hoping they will find a way to survive on their own. Added to that hoping they will have a vision of what their life’s path should be and return a warrior. Parker’s goal is to be that warrior and land on his own feet wherever that may be. Working would be the inquiry as he states and an ongoing quest to understand the truth and how it applies to his life. Interesting to say the least yet, in order to appease his father he does go on the interview. So, why Denver and how will he find his reason for life? That still remains to be seen.
During his interview he remembers a comment made by his professor regarding his personality and demeanor. A furtive mind is one marked by quiet, caution and secrecy. Parker does take great pains trying to avoid being observed. Like a stealth or secret attack on life, he finds his own way but surreptitiously.
During his interview he is told by his father’s friend to follow his own path and he is sure he will supersede his brother and evolve on his own. This statement surprised him but also helped him hear his inner voice as he walked through the streets of Washington to the White House, stood outside, needed to take a moment to reflect and then realized what he needed to do. Hearing a voice inside of him telling him to go to Denver was all the encouragement Parker needed to set forth on his own life’s journey. Throughout the book the author relates interesting facts about Thomas Jefferson and our founding fathers as well as Plato and many other philosophers.
Looking at the Jefferson Memorial Parker begins to recount all of the things that Jefferson did for our country, his feelings about his life and expounds what he feels Jefferson would tell him about his life, his goals and his path in life. Even though his father wants him to become a lawyer that’s not where he wants to go and hopefully going to Denver he will explore his options, learn more about his past and understand what the future holds for him.
When Parker decides to go to Denver along with his friend, Sam things seem to fall into place for him and the reader begins to understand more about what he is trying to do, find in his life and a dream that would haunt him throughout the novel. Thinking he is back in the 17th century, being chased by three gunmen, facing a dangerous Indian and being shot, you begin to think he is not only running away from some danger in the present, trying to enact a part of history or just afraid of what he might find at the end. Added to that Parker sees him undergoing the same rituals a young brave goes through as he leaves his childhood and become a warrior by isolating himself from his tribe and alighting a man. Reentering the present he finds himself in Denver seeing the sights, wanting to explore more places hoping to find his destiny or true calling and then recounting experiences and talks with his father that could have laid dormant in his mind yet might have actually been part of the basis for him not wanting to be a lawyer and follow in his path but in his own. Always telling him to speak up for himself and not follow others maybe was his way of telling him to go out on his own and see where life leads him even though he might not always agree with his choices. Parker relates everything to the past, to Jefferson, his doctrines and many others including Plato and Aristotle. Where will his explorations lead him? There is much more to come as he and Sam explore the many places in his dreams and in reality.
Parker is searching for a place for himself and seems to be trying to live up to what his father wants and yet he goes off on his own to explore the many possibilities out there. The author alternates between the past and the present in order to interconnect the events. Parker shares his dream with Sam as he recuperates from a strange illness that takes them to the ranch of a Navajo Indian who understands his dream has a vision of his own and will relate to Parker how all of this relates to him and his future.
This special encounter with an Indian named Lone Wolf would bring to light what his future might hold for him and some understanding of his dream and vision. As Lone Wolf brings Sam into the fold explaining to Parker his connection to his life and the dream, his vision and their futures. As both young men go back to what is supposed to be their normal lives something happens that would change the course of America’s history, the lives of many families and Parker’s understanding of life. As Lone Wolf explains to both young men the two visions he saw the words spoken as he listened he explains to Parker what is expected of him, what might come next and where he needs to go to find the answers. What does his dream mean? What does the future hold? There is much more that author Thomas M. Hill has to tell us, as this is just the beginning of Parker’s journey. Family ties, family obligations, finding himself from the inside and one young man whose path changed when tragedy struck and the other just beginning. A story dealing with America’s history, America’s identity, finding your own path in life and not being who or what others expect of you. Parker: Warrior’s Song: The final chorus has yet to be sung and the final words of the wolf yet to be heard. Very thought provoking, very uniquely written and definitely quite compelling story of one young man whose life changed when he decided that he would become his own person. Our pasts are often interwoven into our futures. What is next for Parker? Only author Thomas M. Hill can answer that when Part Two of the series comes out.
Fran Lewis: reviewer