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10th Grade202432 Stories4th of July99 DaysA Change in AltitudeA Demon in My ViewA Dream of WolvesA Falling KnifeA Finely Tuned Apathy MachineA Heart of StoneA Life Lived RidiculouslyA Multitude of SinsA Parting GiftA Question of BloodA Quiet PlaceA Red Heart of MemoriesA River SutraA Short History of Tractors in UkrainianA Slight Trick of the MindA Stir of BonesA Thousand Miles from NowhereA Voyage Long and StrangeA Wedding in December About a BoyAbraham LincolnAcross the River and Into the TreesActs of GodAfrican PsychoAfter DarkAfter YouAfter You'd GoneAfterwardsAgenda for MurderAliens in the Prime of Their LivesAll Alone in the UniverseAll Families Are PsychoticAll in the MindAll the Way HomeAltered LandAlternatives to SexAmanda's WeddingAmelia RulesAmericaAmerica AmericaAmnesiaAmong the DepartedAn Object of BeautyAngelsAngry Youth Comix #2AnimosityAnne SextonAre You Experienced?Aristotle and Poetic JusticeAristotle DetectiveArlington ParkArtemis FowlAs Hot as It Was You Ought to Thank MeAsking For MurderAtonementAway Laughing on a Fast CamelBabylon and Other StoriesBad BoyBad SeedBag Of BonesBalancing ActsBarbara the Slut and Other PeopleBeach RoadBeat the ReaperBeautiful GirlsBed of RosesBefore I Go to SleepBefore the FrostBeg the QuestionBeginner's GreekBellyBeneath the SkinBenedictionBest New American VoicesBig BrotherBilly and GirlBiteBlack & WhiteBlack HelicoptersBlack Market TruthBlameBlanketsBleed for MeBlind SightBlonde FaithBlood, Salt, WaterBlueprints for Building Better GirlsBody SurfingBoneMan's DaughtersBoneyardBoneyardBoomsdayBorder CrossingBoth Ways Is the Only Way I Want ItBoysBracketBrain TrustBrava, ValentineBreaking Out of BedlamBreathing UnderwaterBrick LaneBridge of SighsBridget JonesBridget Jones's DiaryBrief Interviews with Hideous MenBruisesBrŁselBullyBurn, Bitchy, BurnButterflyBy BloodBy The Sea ShoreCalled to KillCanadaCanvasCaricatureCase HistoriesCellCemetery DanceChange of HeartChangesChasing the DimeChild 44Cinema PanopticumCinnamon KissCircle NineCity of the LostClay's WayClose toYouClose Your EyesCloud 9 AffairCoincidenceCold CaseCold HitCold in HandCollected StoriesCome Up and See Me SometimeComfort and JoyCompulsionConfessions of a ShopaholicConfessions of an Ex-GirlfriendConsider LoveCouch FictionCrispinCross CountryCruddyCrumpleCutCypherDaddy's GirlsDakotaDamageDancing After HoursDanger in High PlacesDanger! 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A Dream of Wolves by Michael C. White is a knock'em dead,
good ol' boy, backwoods murder mystery. It is as hot as a blazing
fire, homey as warm apple pie, and as hauntingly beautiful as
the mist on the mountainside. This tale of murder, family feuds,
local politics, and primitive medicine set in a small town high
in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is told in a gossipy
folktale style that simply delighted this "Yankee" reviewer.
"Sits yourself down, grab a cup of that there joe, and let
me tell you the story of Doc, that's Doctor Stuart Jordan. He's
an imported Yankee, but folks here around are getting to trust
him. He's our women doctor and also our medical examiner, too.
He likes to say, he's like a good host, he sees 'um into the world,
and he might as well sees 'um out. Well, Cecil, he's our sheriff,
called Doc to go out on a call up in the hills just afore Christmas.
It seems this Indian gal done shot her common law husband. (Cecil
said it was a real mess.) The corpse, he was Roy Lee Pugh, of
the Little Mexico Pughs. The whole lot of 'um are meaner than
a bear in a trap and trouble from the git go. Their Pa ran moonshine
during the Prohibition, now the sons, they modernized, they sell
drugs and ladies. Well this Indian, her name is Rosa Littlefoot,
made Doc promise to take care of her little one, while she's in
jail. Doc being kind-hearted agreed, but Doc ain't young any more
and he's also a bachelor to boot
well, sort of. When he came
here, green from medical school, he up and married himself a local
gal, Annabelle, but she has these spells and takes off. Last we
heard, she's living a wild life down in Asheville
be back, she always comes back, and Doc, I told you, he's a kindly
sort, always takes her back in. Doc also got a "lady friend."
Now, you didn't hear this from me, but he's seeing that cute DA,
Bobbie Tisdale. Her old man's no good, a real tomcat. He's got
straying eyes and wandering fingers, you know what I mean? Miz'
Bobby's prosecuting the Littlefoot case and this puts Doc in a
real pickle, being substitute daddy and all. Also them Pughs hired
a real sleazy lawyer to get custody of that papoose. Well, the
trial is coming up any day now, and them city reporters are already
snooping about. Should make for some hot fire works in town. Hey
looky there, an ambulance just pulled up in front of the jail,
now I wonder what that's all about. Well gotta go see what's up.
Been nice talking to you, stop on back and I'll fill you on in."
The characters in this book are well rounded and painted with
intricate shades of gray. Annabelle, Doc' bipolar wife, is presented
in a roller coaster fashion that appropriately reflects her personality
as loving and rational and at other times hate filled and manic.
Bobbie is warm and passionate, yet often cold and razor sharp.
I will admit a great deal of ambivalence and flip-flopping over
the love triangle. Rosa is a product of the harsh realities of
reservation life. The Pughs barrel through this novel like a hot-rodding
A Dream of Wolves is very well written. White's description
of the wild beauty of the mountains and the simple joys of country
life is seductive. White's attention to detail made his novel
completely accessible to me. The folksy story telling style invites
the reader to become one with the people of this small town and
to share in their gossip and long family histories. As each character
is introduced the reader learns about the individuals role and
place in society as set forth by their personal and familial history.
This is so important to understanding how and why the characters
behave and interact as they do in this close-knit microcosm. "Blood
runs thick in these mountains" and "kinship don't run
in straight lines" is sage advice for understanding this
story. I recommend not skipping lightly over the family histories
and local gossip sections.
Michael C. White is an assistant professor of English and Creative
Writing at Fairfield University. His first novel, A Brother's
Blood, was a New York Times Notable Book for 1996, and his
second title, The Blind Side of the Heart. His short stories
have been widely published and have won the Advocate Newspapers
Fiction Contest and the Permafrost Fiction contest, as well as
being nominated for a Pushcart and a National Magazine Award.
He lives in Massachusetts. A Dream of Wolves is his third
A Dream of Wolves by Michael White is a well-written folksy
tale of a local murder. Local Appalachian reviewers condemn this
novel as filled with stereotypical "hillbillies" and
demeaning to true "mountain folk". This may be true,
but like Doc, I am not a mountain person, but a "Yank"
born and bred, and "I" loved this story. Stack the wood
high by the backdoor and settle into your favorite rocker, this
one will keep the home fires burning late into the night.
© 2002 Su Terry
Su Terry: Education:
B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library
Science from Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious
Studies/Pastoral Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div.
in Professional Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary,
a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual Direction from Sacred
Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the United Church
of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at Dowling
College, Long Island, NY. Interests in Mental Health: She is
interested in the interplay between psychology, biology, and mysticism.
Her current area of research is in the impact of hormonal fluctuation
in female Christian mystics.