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Sisters of the Lost Nation

by Nick Medina

Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina X
Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina
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  • Amy S. (Tucson, AZ)
    A Collision of Cultures
    Initially, I was a bit confused by the "timeline" of "Sisters of the Lost Nation". Once I figured it out, it served to drive the story to its powerful climax. It also generated intense feelings as I read, knowing more than the characters did. As powerless as I felt, unable to stop the bullying, the rebellious and reckless behavior, and ultimately the disappearance of more than one member of the Takoda Reservation, the strength of Anna, and her unwavering belief in the old ways of her people as a means of healing kept my anxiety in check.

    Anna is an unlikely heroine, as she is constantly harassed by her sister, fellow students, and many adults in her life. Yet she has a reservoir of strength, thanks to the importance of storytelling and her belief that her community is stronger when they remember the people and the teachings that have come before them. Throughout this novel, those beliefs even allow Anna to heal herself, becoming a more confident and able young woman as a result.

    Sisters of the Lost Nation effectively addresses many important issues that affect Native Americans - racism, addiction, sudden influx of wealth, missing/murdered women, and cellphones vs. oral storytelling. The only "horror" I would associate with this novel, is the bad treatment many indigenous people still endure. We learn that sometimes, the answers we seek are no further away than a book on a forgotten shelf. Simplistic? Not when you consider that storytelling is about problem solving.
  • Kristen H. (New Bern, NC)
    I really like reading Sisters of a Lost Nation. I have not read a book by this author before and I did like his style of writing. The book was well written.

    I am sure the topic of this book is a somewhat well known issue. Indian nations have suffered much from our culture which is a great shame. I felt for the main character of this story with her struggles not only for he lost sister but what she struggled with within herself.

    I would recommend this book, especially for book clubs as I feel that it would be a good discussion.
  • Becky S. (Springfield, MO)
    A great mystery read !
    A fictional story about a real problem that has surfaced in the Native American culture . The mystery revolves around some young women who go missing at the reservation. Anna's search for her younger sister, Grace, leads to all kinds of important discoveries of a sinister game happening at the tribes Casino. The story that unfolds is realistic and important to bring awareness to another problem that is being swept under the carpet among our Native people.
  • Mary S. (Bow, NH)
    Stick with it - it's worth it!
    As you can tell from the title of my review, my initial impression of the book was less than outstanding but that changed as the story progressed. The story starts with the usual trope of two sisters that have grown apart as they hit puberty and one sister, our narrator, is trying to figure out what happened. Sticking with the trope of two sisters, the narrator dresses and acts differently that what is considered "traditionally" female. Fortunately, once the story establishes the relationship of the sisters, things move along quickly.

    The sisters live on a reservation in Louisiana. Like many reservations in the United States, the tribe builds a casino. Our narrator works at the casino in housekeeping and that's where the story line really picks up. She witnesses suspect behavior and tries to do something about it. Amid all this, her sister disappears. The author will break your heart describing how easy it is for Native American women to disappear and how difficult it is for tribal police to legally protect their members from the actions of non-tribal members. It opened my eyes to legal snafus that I thought had been settled decades ago.

    Woven throughout the story line is a wonderful thread of traditional stories from our narrator's tribe.

    I think you will enjoy this book. It's a little bit mystery, a little bit mystic and a lot of good writing.
  • Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)
    A Look at Modern Native American Life
    Anna Horn, Lakoda Native, is a high school senior misfit who quickly wins the reader's sympathy through her work ethic and interest in tribal history. In a dysfunctional family she steps up to guide her younger sister Grace, who, like many early teens, rebels against her interference.

    What influence does the casino play on the community? Ideally, it gives the opportunity to learn how to work, to value education and to upgrade the tribe's standard of living. Conversely, what Anna sees is layabout workers collecting salaries while doing little work, liquor/drug use skyrocketing, beautiful landscapes around the casino vs. crumbling asphalt roads running through dark, frightening areas where the Lakodas actually live. At first I thought Sisters was going to be YA fiction; but as the book developed, Nick Medina uncovered serious issues prevalent among Native Americans across the country -- do casinos fulfill their hopes for a better life or does poverty actually remain an insurmountable hurdle on many reservation. This book got off to a somewhat clumsy start but deserves 5 stars for content.
  • John W. (Saint Louis, MO)
    Less about Mythological Legends of Native American Horror than Promoted
    Nick Medina addresses the plight of missing and murdered Native American women in more of an adult way versus young adult horror as some critics have portrayed the book. There are elements of Takoda folklore interwoven into the storyline, but it's more of a story of a family in crisis and the failure of the reservation law enforcement and local law enforcement to address crimes that overlap both jurisdictions. The characters are well developed and loved the research the author had done on Native American and First Nation women that go missing.
  • Ilene M. (Longmont, CO)
    Worth the read
    The author writes a good story about several difficult subject matters. The problems faced by the indigenous people of the United States is well defined in this book. I particularly appreciated reading about the subject matter and the various characters described in this book. While not easy reading, it was worth my time.

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