Song of the Horseman
In 1941 Jonas Walks-Through-the-Storm, a full-blooded Cherokee horse trainer in rural North Carolina, trains an equestrian unit at Camp Tuckaseegee. As he straddles the racist divide while working with white men, a mutual love develops between him and the wife of an officer.
In modern-day Chicago, Jonas’s one-quarter-native grandson, Russell, battles racism of another color. As a teacher at a mostly black school, he burns out in work, marriage, and self-esteem by sliding into alcoholic dissolution. Divorce, dismissal, and dejection quickly follow. Trying to exhume his self-respect, Russell attempts to revive his lineage through a self-imposed “trial by fire” alone in a night forest. This ceremony leads to a journey to retrace his grandfather’s story.
Due to a past scandal, memories of Jonas have been erased in Russell’s family. Yet Russell’s childhood excursions with his grandfather persist. Wandering across Illinois and Wisconsin he interviews the people who knew Jonas and discovers a chain of sobering tragedies.
When the search leads to North Carolina’s mountains, Russell comes full circle to his grandfather’s old homestead and discovers the love and purpose that the old man had bequeathed to him through a kinship with the land . . . and a brotherhood with horses.
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