Friday, April 22, 2011

Robert MacKay and Ben Nuttall-Smith

I've finally escaped from reading reports, journals and scientiific articles.  As a result I'm able to enjoy reading what I want to read.  To this end, I'm deep in the mud of WWI reading Robert McKay's Soldier of the Horse. What a fascinating novel of the mounted men of the Canadian Expetitionary Force.  I've followed them through training in Canada, through the crossing of the Atlantic into the countryside of England. Now they're onto the trenches of Flanders.  Tom, the protagonist, a young lawyer, dreaming of return to the beautiful Ellen is walking in the darkness behind shadowy men before him waiting for German machine guns to open fire. It's a truly exciting read.  Great insights and touching moving story..
When I put that down I pick up Ben Nuttall Smiths, Blood, Feathers and Holy Men.  There I'm with this odd assortment of Irish monks who have been captured by Vikings and ended up in the Newfoundland learning living with the First Nations folk , their ways of surviving and their  ways of native medicine All the while Father Firten the monk leader is  trying to hold them to their Latin Liturgies.  How can a good Christian monk enter a sweat lodge if it means you must go naked? There's passion and intrigue and fascinating insights into the collision of cultures, not of warriors but rather more of these gentle folk, healers and spirituals.
I do hope these great authors are back in their garrets penning the sequels.

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