Novel Tells Story Of Native American Slavery
“Indio,” a historical fiction novel by Sherry Garland, is well worth the time spent reading it.
It tells the story of 14-year-old Ipatah-chi, who has survived an Apache raid on her village that ended in the death of her grandmother and the capture of her older brother.
But the trouble doesn’t end there. When the Spaniards ride into Ipa’s little village on their horses, bringing death, disease and war, her way of life begins to change drastically. At first, the natives have hopes of peace, but they soon realize the Spaniards do not have the same idea.
Ipa is captured by raiding Spaniards and sold into slavery in a silver mine. Two padres at the mission take Ipa into their care. She is able to escape the hardships of the mines by practicing the herbal medicines taught to her by her grandmother.
Through the hardships and trials of her new life, Ipa works on. She watches helplessly as her younger brother descends into madness after a mining accident. When Ipa’s cousin Xucate turns to her for help, she cannot refuse and risks her life to help Xucate escape.
This book depicts the life of a Native American during the 1500s very well. Garland has painted a clear portrait of Native American slave life. She steadily builds the story to its climax while provoking many questions in the reader’s mind. The ending holds a few surprises. The plot is very believable and it makes for a moving story.
Garland’s characters linger in the reader’s mind long after the last page has been turned. They are well portrayed and easy to understand.
Because Garland has given her characters such definite personalities, it’s easy to sympathize with them and understand them. She’s created an enjoyable and believable story for anyone.