Friday, August 26

Book Review: House Made of Dawn

Author: N. Scott Momaday
Title: House Made of Dawn
Genre: Historical Fiction, Cultural, War, Classics
Pages: 198
First Published: 1968
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon)

"The magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of a proud stranger in his native land.

He was a young American Indian named Abel, and he lived in two worlds. One was that of his father, wedding him to the rhythm of the seasons, the harsh beauty of the land, the ecstasy of the drug called peyote. The other was the world of the twentieth century, goading him into a compulsive cycle of sexual exploits, dissipation, and disgust. Home from a foreign war, he was a man being torn apart, a man descending into hell."

This is the first novel I've read by N. Scott Momaday and probably not the last. I've heard mixed reviews about this, so I was ecstatic to read it and form my own opinion.

When I first began to read I found myself in love with the scenery that Momaday showed. Well, I had already a deep love for the scenery since I went out to California last year. I felt very connected with the world he described and showed me, however that was the only thing I could connect to.

I felt very distant with the characters and the plot. I was confused a lot because the book wasn't in chronological order, which really bugs me. It's hard to follow a story where events are happening WAY out of order. I'm a fast reader, but I had to slow myself down so I could try to place the events in order. I don't know why Momaday wrote it that way, but I know he probably has a good reason (or so I hope). Also, the way he presented the characters seemed like they were far away. I had a hard time connecting with them. The only character that I truly understood was Angela, who was a little nuts.

Besides for the oddly placed events and the distant characters, I really liked this book. It has a good, deep meaning about self-discovery and finding your place in the world. Abel is not only a man who is lost in his world, but he's also a War Veteran who is tormented by the war. I felt so bad for him, but through him and his life Momaday shows that anyone can find their way to self-discovery and enlightenment.

It took me a while to read, but I'm glad I read it. There may be some major issues that  are hard to ignore (at least for me), but I found Momaday's writing style to be like magic. He wove such a wonderful story with beautiful scenery. It's a good book and I'm glad I own it, because I might re-read this in the future. I wish I could give this 5 stars, but I can't. I have to give this 4 stars; it would be 3.5 stars but I don't give decimals. 

Favorite Character(s): Milly and Abel
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Angela



Blodeuedd said...

eh, pass. I am in a passing mood today, maybe I am feeling the book shelves falling down on me, lol

Carole Rae said...

I don't blame you. It's an aquired taste I guess. I know how that feels! lol.