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When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky

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Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.    Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on lo Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.    Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show, is determined to find her own way in the world. Two’s closest friend at Glendale is Hank Crawford, who loves horses almost as much as she does. He is part of a high-achieving, land-owning Black family. Neither Two nor Hank fit easily into the highly segregated society of 1920s Nashville. When disaster strikes during one of Two’s shows, strange things start to happen at the park. Vestiges of the ancient past begin to surface, apparitions appear, and then the hippo falls mysteriously ill. At the same time, Two dodges her unsettling, lurking admirer and bonds with Clive, Glendale’s zookeeper and a World War I veteran, who is haunted—literally—by horrific memories of war. To get to the bottom of it, an eclectic cast of park performers, employees, and even the wealthy stakeholders must come together, making When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky an unforgettable and irresistible tale of exotic animals, lingering spirits, and unexpected friendship.


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Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.    Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on lo Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.    Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show, is determined to find her own way in the world. Two’s closest friend at Glendale is Hank Crawford, who loves horses almost as much as she does. He is part of a high-achieving, land-owning Black family. Neither Two nor Hank fit easily into the highly segregated society of 1920s Nashville. When disaster strikes during one of Two’s shows, strange things start to happen at the park. Vestiges of the ancient past begin to surface, apparitions appear, and then the hippo falls mysteriously ill. At the same time, Two dodges her unsettling, lurking admirer and bonds with Clive, Glendale’s zookeeper and a World War I veteran, who is haunted—literally—by horrific memories of war. To get to the bottom of it, an eclectic cast of park performers, employees, and even the wealthy stakeholders must come together, making When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky an unforgettable and irresistible tale of exotic animals, lingering spirits, and unexpected friendship.

30 review for When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    "Wild West shows had waned with the Great War and the movies...[the] Glendale Park and Zoo [provided] steady work while other streams of employment for vaudeville and Wild West performers continued drying up." Two Feathers looked forty feet down into the diving pool. She waited for her mare, Ocher, led by her friend Crawford, to enter the diving platform. "Two liked excitement, and was addicted to danger, crowds, and clapping...Ocher [basked] in the applause...Horse diving was risky business." Tw "Wild West shows had waned with the Great War and the movies...[the] Glendale Park and Zoo [provided] steady work while other streams of employment for vaudeville and Wild West performers continued drying up." Two Feathers looked forty feet down into the diving pool. She waited for her mare, Ocher, led by her friend Crawford, to enter the diving platform. "Two liked excitement, and was addicted to danger, crowds, and clapping...Ocher [basked] in the applause...Horse diving was risky business." Two's passion was buying scarves which were often worn by performing cowgirls. She was on loan to the Glendale Park Zoo from the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch in Oklahoma. Two Feathers was her stage name. It was assumed that she was a wild, Cherokee Indian. "She was certain animals have minds, spirits, distinctive personalities...and senses of humor...are like humans, only in different bodies...she also felt spirits in creeks, springs, river and rocks...some places were sources of strength, others were haunted...She heard the thunder of ancient hooves pounding the ground." Two was sitting on top of the world as a horse diver, however, in 1920's Nashville, prohibition, racial, social and religious issues were at the forefront. Chambliss Hall dorm mother, Helen Hampton, could bond with Two "as long as Two knew her place." Pool inspection for the afternoon jump...crowd inspection...waiting on the ledge for Ocher...Ocher balks and backs up...a leap in the air...Ocher and Two disappear when the earth shifts and the ground collapses. "When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky" by Margaret Verble is a powerful work of historical fiction. An accident opens a window to the past of so many well detailed characters. With references to both the Civil War and the Great War, the ravage to the human spirit is apparent. Antiquities of the past come to light...relics, caves, and a city built on sacred ground. "[Crawford's] grandfather had once owned land. His older relatives had worked it as slaves." Perhaps tolerance will prevail as swirling mysteries encourage the protagonists, from different walks of life, to work together. An excellent read. Thank you Mariner Books and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    With this title, the bright yellow cover, the author being a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a book description mentioning an eclectic set of characters and unexpected friendship, I knew I wanted to read When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky by Margeret Verble. I also wanted to read this because I have a very small percentage of Blackfoot Indian blood myself. Many thanks to Mariner Books and NetGalley for making this available to me. Picture this: Nashville area, Glendale Park Zoo, 1926. The First Wor With this title, the bright yellow cover, the author being a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a book description mentioning an eclectic set of characters and unexpected friendship, I knew I wanted to read When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky by Margeret Verble. I also wanted to read this because I have a very small percentage of Blackfoot Indian blood myself. Many thanks to Mariner Books and NetGalley for making this available to me. Picture this: Nashville area, Glendale Park Zoo, 1926. The First World War and the influenza pandemic not long past. Two Feathers, a horse-diver on loan from a Wild West Show in Oklahoma, is diving at the park a few times a day with her beloved horse Ocher. She's trying to find her own way in the world, feeling that the typical life of a woman on the reservation she is from isn't a natural fit for her. Although she misses her family, there's the sense that Glendale Park feels a bit like home for her. When disaster strikes during one of her shows, an eclectic group of people rush to save her. In doing so, one character begins to witness ghosts and spirits roaming the grounds, and strange events begin to occur around the park. The real strength of this story is the cast of quirky characters. Two Feathers and her Park friends are characters the reader can root for, fully fleshed, with flaws and virtues. I really enjoyed seeing how Two interacted with the animals. There is really only one bad apple of a character, and he can be spotted from a mile off. However, in places, it feels as if there are too many minor, nonconsequential characters, who ultimately play no real, defined part in the overall tale and were perhaps not necessary to be added at all. The tale brings to light the painful truth of American history, which is that the white European people stole land from the Native Americans, drove them out, killed them through violence and disease, and completely changed their ways of life. In driving them off their land, Native American land was also desecrated; graves were robbed; an amusement park was built directly over a graveyard. It really makes clear the complete lack of respect that was shown to these marvelous, unique people. It also touches upon racism of whites to black people, although not as heavily. Important topics, which the author handled honestly and well, sticking to what she knows and only dipping briefly into the other. The story is interesting. It's like spending a few months with some people you will grow close to, and you'll be happy to have met them and gotten to know them. There are lots of historical facts packed into the story, much of the day-to-day life of the time. There are romance and some unique, unexpected friendships. There's a splash of mystery. However, the mystery aspect was not as well done as the previously mentioned aspects. It was slow burn, and never really approached the feverish pitch that readers of mystery and thrillers get high off of. Overall, I am glad to have read this book. I feel as if some of the historical facts have enriched my knowledge of American history. I really enjoyed being immersed in this tale with this special group of characters and witnessing how they worked together to resolve difficult issues. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, and especially Native American historical fiction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Ochre and I fell from the sky into the underworld. from When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky by Margaret Verble In 1926, at the Glendale Park and Zoo in the state of Tennessee, a young Cherokee woman was on her horse, ready to dive into the pool below. Her horse balked, which was unusual, but Two Feathers (a stage name) urged Ochre on. As they dove, the ground below opened, sucking down the water and the pool. The girl and her horse fell into the cave below. Two Feathers was rescued, with a broken Ochre and I fell from the sky into the underworld. from When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky by Margaret Verble In 1926, at the Glendale Park and Zoo in the state of Tennessee, a young Cherokee woman was on her horse, ready to dive into the pool below. Her horse balked, which was unusual, but Two Feathers (a stage name) urged Ochre on. As they dove, the ground below opened, sucking down the water and the pool. The girl and her horse fell into the cave below. Two Feathers was rescued, with a broken leg her only harm. Ochre had died on impact, his body cushioning Two. During her recovery, Two relied on others who worked at Glendale, marginalized people who were just as broken. There was her rescuer, the Englishman Clive, veteran of WWI, who bore external and internal scars. And there was her best friend Crawford, descended from slaves; his family was prominent and educated, and yet he carefully orchestrates his friendship with Two knowing that anything perceived as untoward could result in a lynching. Two’s widowed landlady didn’t know how to treat an Indian; she wasn’t black and she wasn’t white. With Clive’s example of parental care, and desiring Clive’s attention, Helen becomes solicitous of Two and they become friends. A red-headed stranger with a college education is hired to care for the animals. He has a fascination with Indians and stalks Two. What no one knows is he is also fascinated with power and control. Glendale was built on an ancient native burial ground, and the ghost of Little Elk also notices the Cherokee woman. He steals tobacco for strength, willing himself to be seen–and allowing him to interfere in human affairs. When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky is an unusual novel, part historical fiction and part mystery and part magical realism. The setting and era is beautifully realized. So much information is shared through the characters. The characters offer insights into history. Clive has a conversation with a woman who remembers the Civil War. He talks about his experience in WWI. Crawford gives us glimpses into the legacy of slavery and continuing racism. And through Two, we learn how a Native American experiences white society, the history of native genocide, and the rich traditions of the Cherokee. What I loved most about the book were the characters, all so likeable and appealing. They love and care for the animals and for each other. The community they create is heart-warming and cheering. Two is courageous, spunky, and smart. She has a deep connection to the zoo animals, especially the American bison Adam. Two was accustomed to animal friends, but they didn’t make up for the loss of a whole herd, family, or tribe…Two felt the animal’s loneliness…Her own tribe had been hunted, too, and would vanish with the passing of her generation. from When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky by Margaret Verble It is a wonderful read, enjoyable and satisfying, while raising awareness of social issues including race, power and control, and war’s legacy. In the Author’s Note, Verble talks about growing up in a neighborhood built over the Glendale Park and Zoo, knowing about the caves, and the ancient Indian graves. Later she learned about the horse diving tank’s collapse into a cave, and about the affluent African American family that owned land. I received an ARC from the publisher through Bookish First. My review is fair and unbiased.

  4. 5 out of 5

    mesal

    Thank you to NetGalley as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The clever title coupled with an interesting premise drew me to request this book. I had mixed opinions regarding certain aspects of the story, but for the most part I found it to be an absorbing read. Verble's novel follows Two Feathers, a performer at the Glendale Park Zoo whose act involves diving into a pool – while riding on the back of a horse. I really Thank you to NetGalley as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The clever title coupled with an interesting premise drew me to request this book. I had mixed opinions regarding certain aspects of the story, but for the most part I found it to be an absorbing read. Verble's novel follows Two Feathers, a performer at the Glendale Park Zoo whose act involves diving into a pool – while riding on the back of a horse. I really liked her character, even though it was difficult to get a read on her at first: on one hand, we're shown that she enjoys the spotlight and knows her way around a crowd, but on the other we don't really see her speak all that often (at least, not directly). This would be because the author chooses to focus on Two's mind, her thoughts and feelings surrounding each situation she faces, rather than on the words she says out loud. The book itself chooses to delve into the minds of all the characters given POVs. Character-driven to the extreme, you don't notice that there's a progressing plot until you're seventy percent of the way in and realise that the characters aren't in the same place as they were when you began reading. This isn't always a bad thing; in the case of When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky, I actually did not mind, in large part due to the fact that I liked most of the characters in it. What I was mildly disappointed in was Two Feather's friendship with Crawford. Considering that a significant portion of the blurb was dedicated to telling the reader about it, I expected that it would be a major feature of the novel itself; however, that was not so. Their friendship existed, sure, and was given some screen time, but not as much as I had hoped for. This novel's writing depends greatly on short, short sentences and half-sentences strung together. Often in the middle of reading, I'd get distracted by the writing style instead of immersed in the story, but I did grow accustomed to it eventually. Full review here!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Burke

    Once upon a time there was the magical Glendale Park Zoo in Nashville, Tennessee. The spirit of fantasy filled the air. It was the good old days, back in 1926, and families could flock to see exotic animals, enjoy rides, and witness amazing novelty acts. By far the most breathtaking was the Cherokee woman Two Feathers and her horse Ocher, who together made death-defying plunges down 40 feet into a small pool of water. People got their money's worth. One day the horse sensed danger, but the jump w Once upon a time there was the magical Glendale Park Zoo in Nashville, Tennessee. The spirit of fantasy filled the air. It was the good old days, back in 1926, and families could flock to see exotic animals, enjoy rides, and witness amazing novelty acts. By far the most breathtaking was the Cherokee woman Two Feathers and her horse Ocher, who together made death-defying plunges down 40 feet into a small pool of water. People got their money's worth. One day the horse sensed danger, but the jump was made and things went terribly wrong. A sinkhole opened up to an underground cavern and the crash killed Ocher and badly hurt Two Feathers. As she recuperated on the park property unsettling messages began arriving from a disturbing admirer who may have been creeping in her room. She also sensed the presence of Little Elk, a protective ghost spiritually chained to the park. At this time a few animals started dying mysteriously and Two Feathers questions just what is the cause. Two Feathers has lived her whole life being treated and considered a step below a white person. Her friend Crawford has to be wary of being seen with her too often because he is black. "Negros" were allowed to work in the park. "They could even, if well-behaved and accompanied by a white, ride the rides." The book is saturated in racism. With all the whimsy and magic in the air there were the lynchings and beatings, too. The park itself is built on an old native burial ground and it is crushing, if not surprising, to read about the desecration done to the remains. What reason was there for human dignity to stand in the way of the white man's creature comforts? So there was an ugly underside to paradise. I love the characters Margaret Verble has portrayed. Glendale Park Zoo was real, as were many of the people in the story. We get such detailed histories-- but it is a little confusing to see how they all tie together at the novel's conclusion. We read about Crawford's courtship of his fiancée, we see the park's owner and his family squabbles... nice and believable, but it is not clear how this information was necessary to the plot. I could have spent more time directly with Two Feathers, a strong and fiercely independent personality. Thank you to NPR's "Book of the Day" podcast for bringing "When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky" to my attention. The interview with Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Margaret Verble jumped-started my interest and led me to this flawed magic wonderland. Thank you to Mariner Books and NetGalley for the Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. #WhenTwoFeathersFellFromTheSky #NetGalley

  6. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    I was sold when I heard this book was going to be about a Cherokee diving horse rider set in 1920s Nashville. Sadly however, I found this story very disjointed and rambly and I had a really difficult time staying focused. There is a wide cast of characters and multiple storylines, jumping back in forth in time. I found the various POVs just didn't mesh well cohesively and I really just wanted to focus on Two Feather and her journey when her diving career comes to a tragic end. The author does do I was sold when I heard this book was going to be about a Cherokee diving horse rider set in 1920s Nashville. Sadly however, I found this story very disjointed and rambly and I had a really difficult time staying focused. There is a wide cast of characters and multiple storylines, jumping back in forth in time. I found the various POVs just didn't mesh well cohesively and I really just wanted to focus on Two Feather and her journey when her diving career comes to a tragic end. The author does do a good job establishing a sense of time and place and the way all people of color were really second class citizens in 1920s America. I also did really enjoy the Zoo setting and all the animals (I got lots of Water for elephants vibes in the best possible way). Where I got kind of lost is with the stalker and ghost storylines. Overall a solid book but I was hoping for a tighter plot. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance review copy!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    This was just the right read for me during the Thanksgiving holiday! Two Feathers is a sturdy, admirable heroine full of all the noble, honorable aspects balanced with justified imperfections that one comes to expect in a complex protagonist. And all those other yummy characters. . . .I loved this book! The writing was delicious as characters unfurled, the live ones, the dead ones, the inner thoughts of the bears and buffalos, as well as long-dead native grandmas. . .I loved it. Don't forget the This was just the right read for me during the Thanksgiving holiday! Two Feathers is a sturdy, admirable heroine full of all the noble, honorable aspects balanced with justified imperfections that one comes to expect in a complex protagonist. And all those other yummy characters. . . .I loved this book! The writing was delicious as characters unfurled, the live ones, the dead ones, the inner thoughts of the bears and buffalos, as well as long-dead native grandmas. . .I loved it. Don't forget the spirit of the would-be-warrior who saves the day (he's dead). And we all know the magic of tobacco! As one who is haunted by and believes in places as a tie to the many life events that occur on / in that very place. . . this story has great resonance for me. Stand in a place and feel it. . . I get that. Great book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    This book had a lot of moving pieces and it was a historical fiction with a splash of mystery and the mystical mixed in. I really liked the original premise and characters. I found the story overall to be a bit of a slow read for me and it was not a book that kept me from picking up other books. I will say I liked reading a historical fiction from a different time period. I liked the main character Two Feathers a lot even if her voice in the story came off as detached. Two Feather is a horse div This book had a lot of moving pieces and it was a historical fiction with a splash of mystery and the mystical mixed in. I really liked the original premise and characters. I found the story overall to be a bit of a slow read for me and it was not a book that kept me from picking up other books. I will say I liked reading a historical fiction from a different time period. I liked the main character Two Feathers a lot even if her voice in the story came off as detached. Two Feather is a horse diver (I had no idea such a thing existed which was crazy and neat). She enjoys being a show person and loves her horse dearly. One day she dives and a sinkhole opens up and she and her horse fall into an underground cave. While recovering she has to slow her pace which lets her reconnect with herself and notice some other odd things like her mysterious admirer and an Indian ghost that has been following her around.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Johnson

    I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I liked it, but I didn't like it all the time. To be honest, I nearly stopped reading after getting through the intro. It was difficult to read, and I was left wondering what it had to do with the plot. I'm glad that I kept reading, because there were parts of the story I enjoyed. Two is a great character, but I felt like we didn't get a sense of her at all. We see little glimpses, but never enough to get a real sense of who she is. I think tha I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I liked it, but I didn't like it all the time. To be honest, I nearly stopped reading after getting through the intro. It was difficult to read, and I was left wondering what it had to do with the plot. I'm glad that I kept reading, because there were parts of the story I enjoyed. Two is a great character, but I felt like we didn't get a sense of her at all. We see little glimpses, but never enough to get a real sense of who she is. I think that this wasn't her story, perhaps it hasn't been developed yet. She deserves to be a very strong leading character. The plot was slow, and a little scattered. I appreciated the other character stories, but they did nothing to further the plot in any way. If I had to rate it, I'd give it about 2.75 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leah M

    Rounded to 3.5 stars. Thank you to BookishFirst for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily. CONTENT WARNING: racism, alcoholism, trauma, death of animals, racist slurs, gore The premise is such an intriguing one. While I got the idea of what the writer was attempting to accomplish, it didn’t quite come across in the execution of the novel. Unfortunately, the story was bogged down by too many viewpoints and a somewhat clunky storytelling style and a very s Rounded to 3.5 stars. Thank you to BookishFirst for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily. CONTENT WARNING: racism, alcoholism, trauma, death of animals, racist slurs, gore The premise is such an intriguing one. While I got the idea of what the writer was attempting to accomplish, it didn’t quite come across in the execution of the novel. Unfortunately, the story was bogged down by too many viewpoints and a somewhat clunky storytelling style and a very slow-moving storyline. It’s also highly character-driven, so that it took a really long time to make out the full shape of the plot. As for the story itself, it addressed some heavy subjects. Racism, classism, the legacy of slavery, segregation, how indigenous people fit into society, and war trauma all play a role in the plot, and I thought they were addressed well. It was hard not to be outraged multiple times throughout the story on behalf of the characters of color and how society treated them. I liked Two Feathers (a stage name), although I got the sense that there was so much more to her character than what we saw. I would have loved to see her interact with more people in a genuine way, such as with her family. She clearly held back so much of herself with the vast majority of characters in Glendale, which spoke to her lack of trust in white people. But her own history and that of her people was discussed, and it’s totally understandable why she doesn’t trust white people — they’ve never given her any reason to. One of her main struggles is trying to find a place in a world that isn’t designed to make room for indigenous people: “It boiled down to being herself and also making her way in a world built by whites. It would be difficult to do, but, really, she didn’t have any other options.” There are elements of historical fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and even some romance in this story. I liked how they were all intertwined to make an intriguing narrative, even if it was exceptionally slow-moving. All of the different storylines combine towards the end of the book, and I enjoyed seeing it all come together, even if the ending left me a bit unsatisfied and wanting … just more. But perhaps the thing that I liked most about this book was learning more about Cherokee beliefs and how they view the world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City

    What a great fun this book was! 🙌 “When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky” by Margaret Verble is a richly imagined, immersive, and transporting historical fiction following a young Cherokee woman named Two Feathers who performs as a horse diver at an amusement park & zoo in 1920’s Nashville. One day during Two’s diving act, land sinks under the pool, and her beloved horse Ocher dies and Two breaks her leg. While Two recovers from her injury, strange things start to happen at the park ground, and th What a great fun this book was! 🙌 “When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky” by Margaret Verble is a richly imagined, immersive, and transporting historical fiction following a young Cherokee woman named Two Feathers who performs as a horse diver at an amusement park & zoo in 1920’s Nashville. One day during Two’s diving act, land sinks under the pool, and her beloved horse Ocher dies and Two breaks her leg. While Two recovers from her injury, strange things start to happen at the park ground, and this is where story is really takes off. Verbal brings in the supernatural as the plot flows into a mystery as Two and her friends investigate, which leads to uncovering of buried secrets. Author tackles many social culture, issues, and topics of the time period. There are parts that meander a bit and can get bit overwhelming with so many things happening. However, there is depth to the story I didn’t expect, and the character development, historical details & setting, and storytelling are superb. If you’re looking for an unique, unforgettable reading experience that is as entertaining as it is educational & informative, I highly recommend this book! — mo✌️

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I wanted to like When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky. As historical fiction the premise is incredibly unique-a young Indian woman who horse dives for a zoo in Nashville, where things start going haywire after Two Feathers has an accident. In addition to a unique premise, it has several other unique characters beyond Two Feathers; Crawford, a Black man from a wealthy, land owning family who prefers manual labor, Clive, an animal savant still dealing with PTSD from the Great War, the juggling Mont I wanted to like When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky. As historical fiction the premise is incredibly unique-a young Indian woman who horse dives for a zoo in Nashville, where things start going haywire after Two Feathers has an accident. In addition to a unique premise, it has several other unique characters beyond Two Feathers; Crawford, a Black man from a wealthy, land owning family who prefers manual labor, Clive, an animal savant still dealing with PTSD from the Great War, the juggling Montgomery sisters, Jack Older, a white man who thinks he’s an Indian, and Little Elk, definitely an Indian, but a dead one. The story, as fascinating as it could be, tends to get bogged down with too many different intertwined storylines, many of which have their basis in real events that happened. And while it’s really quite amazing that many of these things DID happen, less would have been more to keep the plot cohesive and the reader engaged. While there technically is a conflict resolution at the end of the book it somehow feels very open-ended and incomplete. I don’t know if the author intends a follow-up, but it was hard for me to feel satisfied with the ending of this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    I wish I liked this book more than I did. I wanted to love Two, but I just never got to that point. I never felt like I was really seeing the world, or the things happening in it. In the end it was just… fine. Nothing wrong with fine, but it’s not going to stick with me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    When Two Feathers Fell From The Sky is the third novel by American Pulitzer Prize finalist, Margaret Verble. It’s 1926 and Cherokee horse diver Two Feathers is performing at Glendale Park and Zoo near Nashville, Tennessee, regularly sending money home to her family at The Miller Brothers One Hundred and One Ranch in Oklahoma. She loves the animals of the zoo, especially the bison, and enjoys the company of three friends: Marty and Franny Montgomery, the Juggling Juggernauts, and Hank Crawford, t When Two Feathers Fell From The Sky is the third novel by American Pulitzer Prize finalist, Margaret Verble. It’s 1926 and Cherokee horse diver Two Feathers is performing at Glendale Park and Zoo near Nashville, Tennessee, regularly sending money home to her family at The Miller Brothers One Hundred and One Ranch in Oklahoma. She loves the animals of the zoo, especially the bison, and enjoys the company of three friends: Marty and Franny Montgomery, the Juggling Juggernauts, and Hank Crawford, the stable hand. Two is used to propositions from male fans, but had her heart broken during the winter at home so she is wary of communications from a man who calls himself Strong-Red-Wolf, clearly a fake Indian name. Little Elk, on the other hand, is no fake, but she’s mostly unaware of his presence. It takes him a while to understand why he has, once more, been drawn from the afterlife into the in-between: “To kill the murderous night-going witch. To save the woman and animals.” James Shackleford, owner of Glendale, consults with Two about establishing a box-turtle race as an attraction. Before this can get going, though, disaster strikes Two’s act and she ends up on crutches after being rescued from an underground cave-in by Clive Lovett, the Zoo’s general manager. Her enforced inactivity allows her to see certain things from a different perspective: the sick hippo, the romantic pursuit by the charming college anthropology graduate, and her performing future. Verble populates her tale with a large cast, some of whom she allocates a vignette, while others receive much more than a potted history. And those characters are not exclusively human: buffalo, bear, monkey and hippopotamus also make a significant contribution. Perhaps the most interesting are the zoo manager who, haunted by his wartime experience, becomes aware of spirits present in the park; Two Feathers, with her strong connection to the animals and her distrust of most whites; deep-thinking Hank whose genuine care for Two is unstinting; and Little Elk, whose naive perspective on a modern world occasionally provides humour. Verble easily evokes the era with the customs of the day and the mindset of the community with regards the black population and the Indians, and the controversial Scopes trial and appeal. Her plot manages to include a scalping, theft from a tomb, electrocution, a spirit with a tobacco craving, several romances and, trigger warning, the death of three animals. Verble states in her notes that many of the characters are based on the lives of real people, while certain activities and events have basis in fact. It is clear that her research on such topics as massacres omitted from teaching, and mass robbing of Indian graves, is thorough. Entertaining and thought-provoking historical fiction. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    ⭐️⭐️I ordered this book because I read some reviews that made it sound intriguing. I love historical fiction, and I have family that lives in Nashville, so I thought it would make for an interesting read. I was disappointed. The story is drawn-out and thin. Granted, there are some interesting facts about the native Americans that once inhabited the land that became Nashville. And the setting of the story, the Glendale amusement park, actually existed in the 1920’s. The story centers on Two Feath ⭐️⭐️I ordered this book because I read some reviews that made it sound intriguing. I love historical fiction, and I have family that lives in Nashville, so I thought it would make for an interesting read. I was disappointed. The story is drawn-out and thin. Granted, there are some interesting facts about the native Americans that once inhabited the land that became Nashville. And the setting of the story, the Glendale amusement park, actually existed in the 1920’s. The story centers on Two Feathers, a young Cherokee woman who makes her living horse-diving at Glendale Park. The other secondary characters are Clive, the park manager, who struggles with his memories of WWI (read: PTSD), and Crawford, a young black man who also works at Glendale. There are also many other people — too many, really. It was hard to keep track of them all and how they fit in. And that’s why the story gets thin…it’s like adding too much water to the broth, it dilutes the taste and just ends up making everything soggy. I kept waiting for a strong thread to appear, but the tale just meanders. The ending is abrupt—it just stops. On the one hand, I thought “Really? That’s it?”, and on the other hand, I mentally shrugged and said “OK—at least it’s over.” Not exactly the kind of resolution you look for upon finishing a novel. **Oh, and get this!! Brand new book, published this year, hardcover..and 31 pages of it were cut off! The printer screwed up big time, and each page was cut off at the top or bottom! I could still keep up with the story, but wow! So, if you want to read this one, don’t order it online…pick up a physical copy and look at pages 307-338, to make sure they’re properly printed!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    “But the white people were too thick to understand that. And no amount of reasoning could get it through their wooden heads. They acted like starved turkeys. Gobbled up everything in sight. Broke ground directly in animals’ paths and planted corn. Then they sat out next to the plants with guns to scare the game away. And when they hunted they killed more than they could eat. And more of them kept coming.” “That every cave, spring, and river has a spirit. And are part of their greater spirits. Tha “But the white people were too thick to understand that. And no amount of reasoning could get it through their wooden heads. They acted like starved turkeys. Gobbled up everything in sight. Broke ground directly in animals’ paths and planted corn. Then they sat out next to the plants with guns to scare the game away. And when they hunted they killed more than they could eat. And more of them kept coming.” “That every cave, spring, and river has a spirit. And are part of their greater spirits. That the white people’s religion is one of their greatest evils because it drives all the spirits from the earth into the sky. It makes everything feel dead, when it is very much alive.” Two Feathers is a young Cherokee woman, working as horse-diver at the Glendale Park Zoo. The setting is Nashville, 1926. The story revolves around the people that work at this park, from the owners down to the laborers and performers. It is an interesting and diverse group and Two Feathers is a wonderful character, that anchors it down, with her wisdom and beauty. The animals at this zoo also feature prominently, with Two Feathers sharing a kindred spirit with many of them. I particularly liked the buffalo and the bears. There is romance, treachery, racial tensions and a mystical angle, that makes this novel such a pleasant surprise. A lovely discovery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jan Thullen

    Let’s say 4.5⭐️ rounded up here This was one of a small collection of upcoming books discussed in Book Riot’s fall draft episode, a contest to choose a basket of books that would appeal to a general audience, and votes for one of the two baskets of books up for voting. I’m not sure about a general reader, but I received this book from BookBrowse for discussion. I picked it based on the Book Riot mention. It’s historical fiction, set in a zoo and entertainment park, based on the author’s childhood Let’s say 4.5⭐️ rounded up here This was one of a small collection of upcoming books discussed in Book Riot’s fall draft episode, a contest to choose a basket of books that would appeal to a general audience, and votes for one of the two baskets of books up for voting. I’m not sure about a general reader, but I received this book from BookBrowse for discussion. I picked it based on the Book Riot mention. It’s historical fiction, set in a zoo and entertainment park, based on the author’s childhood neighborhood. I’m not drawn to spooky reading for October, but this story has some menace, a late-developing mystery, and spirits whose intentions are initially unclear. It’s more character driven, with a quiet build. I was taken with the atmosphere and story-telling.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky is a mystery, a historical novel, and, above all, an educational narrative that will stick with you long after the last page. The characters and situations will draw you in, but the haunting story and the lessons available to those open to learning will keep you. Two Feathers, our eponymous main character, is a horse diver (and I highly recommend you research that to get a full appreciation for the job title), who is working in the now defunct Nashville Glendal When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky is a mystery, a historical novel, and, above all, an educational narrative that will stick with you long after the last page. The characters and situations will draw you in, but the haunting story and the lessons available to those open to learning will keep you. Two Feathers, our eponymous main character, is a horse diver (and I highly recommend you research that to get a full appreciation for the job title), who is working in the now defunct Nashville Glendale Zoo in 1926. After a series of strange happenings, Two becomes embroiled in a mystery regarding the park’s animals and whether there are supernatural elements at play. It’s magical realism at its finest, but I found the story extremely believable despite this. But what I found most compelling in the book was the storytelling. This expertly weaved in historical facts while maintaining a sense of the unknown, honoring those who have gone before, with an understanding that history repeats itself. Our job is to listen and learn, and to be better. It’s masterful writing and an engaging story that you won’t want to miss!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I was initially interested in this book because I love all things equine and because I know absolutely nothing about diving horses and was fascinated by the topic. This book was nothing at all what I expected. Two Feathers is such a rich and interesting character and I loved her boldness and sass. This book had a depth I didn't expect. There is horse diving, sure, but this is not a book about diving. This is a book about relationships: intimate ones, racial ones, spiritual ones, friendships with I was initially interested in this book because I love all things equine and because I know absolutely nothing about diving horses and was fascinated by the topic. This book was nothing at all what I expected. Two Feathers is such a rich and interesting character and I loved her boldness and sass. This book had a depth I didn't expect. There is horse diving, sure, but this is not a book about diving. This is a book about relationships: intimate ones, racial ones, spiritual ones, friendships with a bond of brotherhood. It's about war and the aftermath of war. It's about Cherokee history and the losses they suffered in so many ways. It's about the Black community in the south in the 20's, from a different perspective. It's about the spirit, in so many forms. This book took me to a time and place that I knew nothing about and enlightened me about topics I didn't even know I wanted to learn. It was even more fascinating to read the author's note and learn the background about why she chose to write the book. For anyone that is ready to read a historical fiction that's NOT about WWII - this might be the book for you. It's well written, well informed, and a fascinating story with some very engaging characters. Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and BookishFirst for an advanced copy of this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Gay (lifeandbookswithme)

    Book Review: When Two Feathers Fell From The Sky by Margaret Verble (3 stars) Set in the 1920s in Nashville, this novel follows Two Feathers: a young Cherokee woman who is a horse diver. She performs for crowds at Glendale Zoo. She is best friends with Hank Crawford who is a black man. They both struggle to fit in to Nashville’s racist society. When one of Two’s jumps go wrong, she must depend on people she never thought she would have to. The historical world building was great in this book! I co Book Review: When Two Feathers Fell From The Sky by Margaret Verble (3 stars) Set in the 1920s in Nashville, this novel follows Two Feathers: a young Cherokee woman who is a horse diver. She performs for crowds at Glendale Zoo. She is best friends with Hank Crawford who is a black man. They both struggle to fit in to Nashville’s racist society. When one of Two’s jumps go wrong, she must depend on people she never thought she would have to. The historical world building was great in this book! I could picture Glendale Zoo almost exactly as though I was walking through it. Two was very loveable and resilient, which are the makings of a great protagonist. I found the minor characters to be a bit weaker. There just wasn’t enough there to really connect with them. There was also a lot going on in the subplot. I feel like I would have liked it more if there was only one main plot and one subplot as it just felt scrambled at times. Thanks to @houghton.mifflin, @librofm, @marinerbooks and @netgalley for my review copies.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Not what I was expecting. Heavy on the place and time, light on the character development. There were sections that felt like a history lecture. Would have liked better fleshed out characters. A bit of a slog, really struggled to finish this one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nerdette Podcast

    Two Feathers is definitely a character you'll be happy to invite into your brain! Two Feathers is definitely a character you'll be happy to invite into your brain!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alexanderia

    As a whole looking back, I really enjoyed this book. It took a little bit to get into the writing style of the author and understand the transitions between characters, but the history and underlying theme of how different races are/have been treated is relevant and discussion provoking. I originally picked this up because it was about horse diving and I have always been enamored with this attraction, but what I found was something much different. The horse diving was such a small bit of the boo As a whole looking back, I really enjoyed this book. It took a little bit to get into the writing style of the author and understand the transitions between characters, but the history and underlying theme of how different races are/have been treated is relevant and discussion provoking. I originally picked this up because it was about horse diving and I have always been enamored with this attraction, but what I found was something much different. The horse diving was such a small bit of the book. It was more about people. Where people are from, how they made their way, who their family was, and what they believed. The book touches on so many topics that even though they happened many years ago, we are still trying to figure out how to move forward. I think Two said it best, “We get the world we have, not the one we want. But we can make this one better.” We can learn from the past and vow not to repeat mistakes, to see other cultures with an open mind, and value each person for the knowledge they bring from their ancestors.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    More like 3.75 stars. I liked this story of Two Feathers -- the stage name of a Cherokee woman who pretty much grew up in the Wild West show arena. It's 1926 and she's one of the star attractions at a Tennessee zoo. Her act involves diving into a pool of water while on horseback. After an accident makes it impossible for her to perform, she begins to observe the goings on of her fellow performers and staff. There's a lot in this book about Two's uncertainty of where she fits in society, based on h More like 3.75 stars. I liked this story of Two Feathers -- the stage name of a Cherokee woman who pretty much grew up in the Wild West show arena. It's 1926 and she's one of the star attractions at a Tennessee zoo. Her act involves diving into a pool of water while on horseback. After an accident makes it impossible for her to perform, she begins to observe the goings on of her fellow performers and staff. There's a lot in this book about Two's uncertainty of where she fits in society, based on her skin color and her heritage. Among the other characters are a white World War I veteran who suffers from PTSD, a black man who didn't live up to his family's expectations, and a Native American ghost. The plot is sometimes bogged down with the serious themes and issues, but the book held my interest.

  25. 4 out of 5

    A

    The story is set at a Wild West show in 1926, with a native American female performer as a lead. The author doesn’t build up the story in a way that I am accustomed to, but rather presents the main character’s world in bits and pieces, which prevented me from really sinking into the story. And I often found myself asking “who is this person?” when a name would pop up. There seemed to be a shift around half-way through, after which the story was told like a more traditional narrative, but there i The story is set at a Wild West show in 1926, with a native American female performer as a lead. The author doesn’t build up the story in a way that I am accustomed to, but rather presents the main character’s world in bits and pieces, which prevented me from really sinking into the story. And I often found myself asking “who is this person?” when a name would pop up. There seemed to be a shift around half-way through, after which the story was told like a more traditional narrative, but there isn’t a lot of action or character development. The story touches on the spirit world & racism. Thank you to the author and publisher for a free pre-publication copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tina Goldberg

    Won as an ARC from Houghton Mifflin. The novel is set in Nashville in the 1920's with a Zoo being the setting for events that range from horse diving (yes such a thing existed), exotic animals, lots of history, ghosts, murder, and people of various backgrounds that work together to solve problems. There are many interesting characters that this reader became attached to, with the exception of that red headed prick. Very well written, but please know that this is not a fast read (yes we do tend to Won as an ARC from Houghton Mifflin. The novel is set in Nashville in the 1920's with a Zoo being the setting for events that range from horse diving (yes such a thing existed), exotic animals, lots of history, ghosts, murder, and people of various backgrounds that work together to solve problems. There are many interesting characters that this reader became attached to, with the exception of that red headed prick. Very well written, but please know that this is not a fast read (yes we do tend to set lofty annual reading goals), but a read that is to be savored.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Skye LaReine

    Margaret Verble, the author of Maud's Line (2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist) and Cherokee America, returns to once again tangle with the intricate knot of racial and class divides present in 1920s Tennessee. Her new novel, When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky, is a wild ride with horse diving, a mysterious hippopotamus illness, and roaming spirits all set in an amusement park atop a desecrated Native American burial ground. The story leaps off from the beginning with Two Feathers, the ti Margaret Verble, the author of Maud's Line (2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist) and Cherokee America, returns to once again tangle with the intricate knot of racial and class divides present in 1920s Tennessee. Her new novel, When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky, is a wild ride with horse diving, a mysterious hippopotamus illness, and roaming spirits all set in an amusement park atop a desecrated Native American burial ground. The story leaps off from the beginning with Two Feathers, the titular character, returning to horse diving after months of recovering from an injury. Originally from the 101 ranch of Wild West show fame, Two has grown up under spotlight and scrutiny due to her curated talents and her Cherokee ancestry. As such, she is used to admirers. Unfortunately, the love notes sent by the anonymous Strong-Red-Wolf are the start of a new set of terrible events for Glendale Park and its residents. Two is uninterested in engaging in a romance with Strong-Red-Wolf and ignores the letters. Jack Older --AKA Strong-Red-Wolf-- continues to stalk and spy on the unaware Two. Woven into this tumultuous one-sided affair are stories of the other residents in the park. Included are the eclectic head zookeeper, Clive Lovett, as he struggles to deal with the mental toll war left on his psyche; Henry Crawford, a man from a wealthy black family, who is enamored with Bonita, a woman from another wealthy black family but with different values; Little Elk, the spirit of an ancient Cherokee warrior that has taken an interest in Two. Even with these varying storylines, each has a key role to play when tragedy strikes Two and her equine companion, Ocher. When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky truly shines with the dramas that are created around these characters. While the story has supernatural elements, the crux of everything is the relationships between the living characters. They are constantly having to navigate the social expectations of the time while solving mysteries and operating in the park. Crawford and Two, close friends, do not even feel safe conversing unless there is a horse between them or there is work to be done. Two is aware of how easily her views could enrage a white person and, for the most part, holds her tongue. By the time Two rejects the white Strong-Red-Wolf or Jack, readers are already aware of the repercussion that could happen as a result. The suspense of wondering what he will do mixed with wondering what society will allow him to get away with makes even the mundane scenes tense with expectation. While so much enjoyment of this novel is derived from the characters, there seems to be an endless list of useless characters that are introduced. This can be helpful in establishing how everything is interconnected in such a class- and race-aware society. Ultimately, though, there are some characters that you have to wonder whether their inclusion was necessary. For example, Glendale Park’s owner James Shackleford constantly despairs his son Lewis’ actions, which include Lewis’ buying a Kentucky racehorse for seemingly no reason. There is a continual build-up that Lewis might be a key player in the finale of the novel, but he never reaches past background character status. Overall, When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky is an enjoyable read for those that like slice-of-life moments, a pinch of the supernatural, and realism-based explorations of a historical time period.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    It feels weird to call something that involves murder and ghosts a "slice of life" story, but that's precisely what this book read like to me. Slow and meandering in an intentional way, When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky tells the "based on a true story" story of Two Feathers (real Cherokee, fake name) who works at the Glendale Park Zoo in Nashville as a horse diver in 1926. (For those who remember the Disney movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken," which I basically watched on a loop as kid, this' It feels weird to call something that involves murder and ghosts a "slice of life" story, but that's precisely what this book read like to me. Slow and meandering in an intentional way, When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky tells the "based on a true story" story of Two Feathers (real Cherokee, fake name) who works at the Glendale Park Zoo in Nashville as a horse diver in 1926. (For those who remember the Disney movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken," which I basically watched on a loop as kid, this'll be a familiar act.) Glendale Park Zoo was a real place, a place that holds special significance for the author as well, which she addresses in the author's note. Two Feathers is injured when the ground collapses under the horse diving pool, which leaves her laid up with a broken leg, stumbling around on crutches. Meanwhile, her friend, Hank Crawford, a Black man of mixed lineage, is courting a fairly religious young woman and trying to navigate that minefield while also trying not to make a "wrong move" in his friendship with Two or anyone else, which could be a death sentence. Shackleton is the owner of this whole shebang, haunted by long ago work to dig up and loot the graves of Native peoples buried in the space the zoo now occupies. Clive is the kind of boss of the zoo, an Englishman who is dealing with demons from the war, demons he often attempts to drown in drink. When Clive starts seeing ghosts following the ground collapse, he is hesitant to tell anyone for fear of not being believed. But one of the ghosts may be the solution to a problem that is ever-increasing and unidentified... While I don't know that the pitch or summary really captures the reading experience accurately for me, I did find so much worthwhile in this book. With my description above, it's clear there's a lot going on in this book. There are a lot of characters that we get to meet and see their internal workings a bit, as well as a backdrop of several historical moments. Instead of feeling stuffed, it feels adequately full and rich, coalescing into a fascinating historical investigation and reckoning. Content warnings: violence, animal death, racism, alcoholism, sexual content

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diana (Reading While Mommying) Dean

    I love reading historical fiction, particularly novels that touch upon the darker parts of American history. This story promised that and a strong, female character so I jumped at the chance to read it. The setting is 1920s Tennessee, where Two Feathers, a Cherokee girl, is a horse-diver at the Glendale Park Zoo. Also working at the zoo are Crawford, a Black man who owns a plantation, and Clive, a WW1 vet haunted by his past. After Two suffers a horrible event while diving, a big secret is reveal I love reading historical fiction, particularly novels that touch upon the darker parts of American history. This story promised that and a strong, female character so I jumped at the chance to read it. The setting is 1920s Tennessee, where Two Feathers, a Cherokee girl, is a horse-diver at the Glendale Park Zoo. Also working at the zoo are Crawford, a Black man who owns a plantation, and Clive, a WW1 vet haunted by his past. After Two suffers a horrible event while diving, a big secret is revealed and supernatural elements come to the fore. Many themes are touched upon in this book--the desecration of Native American land and lives by white people, Two's struggles with her precarious life as a "famous" Indian, the laws of nature/animal vs. manmade structures/cages, racism, etc. This novel spans only a few months, but the themes it incorporates are many. When separated out by single storyline, this novel engages and entertains. But when viewed as a whole, it seems to plod along at parts and lack a cohesive tie holding it all together. Is it a romance? A mystery? A commentary on 1920s racism against Native Americans and Black Americans? Is it a ghost story? It doesn't seem to know what the main theme is and suffers for it. I loved the character of Two and really wanted to spend more time with her, instead of other characters that are given a lot of "page" time, but who ultimately don't move the story forward much. Crawford was intriguing as well, but again, his specific experiences with racism weren't explored as much as I would have liked. The issues this novel brought up regarding the differences between Native American culture and the culture of the white people who took their land and caged their animals were its most interesting parts. I loved how Verble addressed each theme separately. I also enjoyed the character of Two. While relatively quiet and subdued, her strength and passion are still evident. Crawford and Clive intrigued as well. All in all, this novel explores important historical issues in a distinct setting with unique characters. I just would have preferred a bit more cohesiveness and closure. Much thanks to @NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kimmie

    "When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky" is an excellent historical fiction novel. Set in the Nashville area in the 1920s, it tells the story of Two Feathers, a young performer, and her time working at Glendale Park. From a historical perspective, the author shares a lot about what life was like in that time and place. The reader sees glimpses of everyday life for the wealthy park owners, prominent local citizens, and park employees. However, the most impressive lessons come from the light the auth "When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky" is an excellent historical fiction novel. Set in the Nashville area in the 1920s, it tells the story of Two Feathers, a young performer, and her time working at Glendale Park. From a historical perspective, the author shares a lot about what life was like in that time and place. The reader sees glimpses of everyday life for the wealthy park owners, prominent local citizens, and park employees. However, the most impressive lessons come from the light the author shines on the lives of American Indians and African Americans during a time when discrimination was common and accepted. I also enjoyed everything I learned about Cherokee history and culture. In the midst of all the subtly educational content, there is also a great story. Two Feathers is employed at the park as a horse diver; this means that she rides her horse off a high platform and lands in a fairly small pool at the tower's base. I loved learning about her act and everything that went into it. The story primarily focuses on Two, but a fair amount of time is spent with her friends and co-workers Crawford and Clive. All three are fascinating characters, with enough back story provided to let the reader truly understand their motivations and decisions. A bit of magical realism is included as well, as two characters start to become aware of spirits around them. In addition, something odd is going on with the park's animals, and it was fascinating to watch as the spirit world intersected with the actual one as the mystery was unraveled. I will note that the mystery was actually a fairly small part of the overall story. I recommend this mainly for readers who enjoy historical fiction, as well as anyone who wants to read a quality story about characters and events that don't get written about nearly as often as they should. Five out of five slices of perfect Provolone!

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