Twenty-one-year-old Skye Willis lives in Eufaula, Alabama, a tourist mecca of stately homes and world-class bass fishing. Her childhood friends are either stuck at dead ends or have moved on to accomplish Big Things.
Skye’s grandmother, Verna, insists on being called “Sparrow” because she suspects her ancestors were Muscogee Creek. She dresses in faux deerskin and experiments with ancient Native American recipes, offering a myth or legend to anyone who will listen.
Skye has no idea what to do with her life. She’s smart as hell, but she has no faith or knowledge there’s something out there she was “born to do.” Nor does she know much of anything about her father, who died in Afghanistan when she was a toddler. He and his family are a mystery her mother won’t discuss.
But when Sparrow sets out to confirm her Creek ancestry through genetic testing, Skye joins in.
The results hit like a DNA bomb, launching them both on a path filled with surprises and life-changing events.
Skye learns a harder truth than she ever expected.
Alternating chapters between Skye’s Alabama life and an intertwining tale of greed, deceit, and control in Texas, this story offers proof that all life is a woven tapestry of past, present, and future.
Beth Dial Duke is an Amazon #1 Best Selling author and the recipient of short story awards on two continents.
She is eyeing the other five.
Beth lives in the mountains of her native Alabama with her husband, one real dog, and one ornamental dog.
She loves reading, writing, and not arithmetic.
Baking is a hobby, with semi-pro cupcakes and amateur macarons a specialty.
And puns–the worse, the better.
Travel is her other favorite thing, along with joining book groups for discussion. If a personal visit isn’t possible, she is fluent in Zoom.
Please visit bethduke.com for more information, to request a book club visit, and to see photos of the most beautiful readers in the world!
My thoughts: this was a thought provoking and interesting read about who we are and where we come from. After getting their DNA results Skye and her grandmother, Sparrow, explore their ancestry – from Native Americans to African, deep within their DNA. They encounter some incredible stories of heartbreak and bravery from fleeing Creek tribespeople and escaped slaves, the inspiring women who came before them.
Skye also begins to question who her absent biological father really is – her mother’s answers no longer work. But does she really need him in her life? Her mother’s partner, Manny, offers her a different kind of father, one that is always there. But confronting the man who made her will affect change in both their lives too.
This was fascinating and powerful, especially the stories of Freetown and the indigenous ancestors Skye and Sparrow discover. People who had to be brave and bold in order to stay alive when colonial imperialists were literally out for their blood. Skye has to reconcile the parts of herself and build a new identity incorporating these histories. The ending is bittersweet, suggesting change in the air but at a great loss.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.