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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Singing Grass by Ian M. Evans interweaves New Mexico’s complex history with a thought-provoking case between a clinical psychologist struggling with a difficult, crushing past and a man whose story possesses a troubling likeness to American frontiersman Kit Carson. When Dr. Richard Young accepts the case of a stranger who arrives at his office unexpectedly, he is unaware of the impact the case will have on him. As more sessions follow, Carson eludes Richard’s questions, choosing instead to divert conversations towards the brutality inflicted on indigenous tribes during the Westward Expansion and other similar historical events. Richard, a New Zealander by birth, becomes absorbed in Carson’s internal conflict and America’s history. He is also forced to address the trauma he carries from events in his past.
Through the conversations between Richard and Carson, Ian M. Evans creatively revisits New Mexico’s history. Singing Grass contains extensive information on Native American history and brings attention to the cruelty different native peoples suffered. The story’s characters are convincing as they face real issues in their personal lives. Richard still harbors trauma from a painful event in his past. Though he has a great relationship with his wife, Sharon, they also face challenges. The characters are also comprehensively developed. Their thoughts, backgrounds, and flaws appear. The book focuses on a few subplots and characters and it is organized into specific chapters that are well detailed, hence, it is easy to follow the story. Singing Grass by Ian M. Evans is an interesting and informative literary work that explores the American expansion and the personal struggles of its main characters.