Singing Grass

Fiction - Literary
361 Pages
Reviewed on 02/17/2021
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    Book Review

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.

K. L. Kunavic

Singing Grass is a riveting psychological thriller primarily taking place amidst the laid-back veneer of Taos, NM. It features an array of intriguing characters whose interpersonal dramas---and inner demons---play out against the historical backdrop of America’s old west. The author’s evocative descriptions of this southwest setting, from the shades of the sunsets to the sound of the wind rustling through the prairie grass, seemingly transport the reader to this place and time. Singing Grass is a haunting story that finds the characters questioning not just their own personal realities, but the reality of the culture in which they exist. While at its core a suspense-laden mystery, this novel also offers a timely critique of the fate of indigenous cultures as well as a nuanced examination of our heroes of yore---not to cancel the past, but to move forward with a better understanding of the its contradictions and complexities.