Excerpt from The Removes by Tatjana Soli, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Removes

by Tatjana Soli

The Removes by Tatjana Soli X
The Removes by Tatjana Soli
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2018, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 13, 2019, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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When the warrior came at her and preemptively grabbed her hair, he found all resistance gone. Frontier children were always taunting one another in games with scalping, and she had the idle thought that now she would know what it was like. She endured his punches and kicks as penance, sure they were only preliminary to her being killed. Her only prayer was that she would die with her honor left intact to please God and her mother.

It surprised her when instead she was led to a small, bedraggled group of neighbor women gathered in a field. A group of ten children, including Emma, was corralled under a tree. How had she gotten out? What had become of Dottie and Mama? None of the rest of her family had come out of the burning house. This indeed was not a nightmare—reality was far worse than anything imagination could conjure.

The Indians motioned for the women to start walking, and one of them, a young mother whose babe was nowhere in sight, began crying aloud that they would be killed.

"If they so wanted, we would no longer be breathing," Anne said.

Unhearing, the woman collapsed on the ground and commenced a primitive baying. One of the warriors came and prodded her, conveying by sign language that the captives would soon be fed, but she was beyond caring of their intentions. Years younger than her, nevertheless Anne was impatient with the woman's obtuseness.

"We live only at their mercy, which you now test. Come, please. Get up now," Anne urged, but there was no help for her. The woman was lost inside her own horror as surely as if it were yet another conflagration. The warrior in charge of them looked in exasperation at Anne as if the two of them had somehow become conspirators, then quickly brought out a knife and in a single motion slit the woman's throat.

Anne turned away and began walking. She did not blame the woman for her weakness. She herself had promised that she would rather die than suffer capture, but when the moment came she found an unwillingness to give up her life so easily, despite the immediate dangers and afflictions. She prayed for rescue.

Excerpted from The Removes by Tatjana Soli. Copyright © 2018 by Tatjana Soli. Excerpted by permission of Sarah Crichton Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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