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The Light in the Forest: 06/19/08
The Light in the Forest reminds me of James Fenimore Cooper's books in the way it glorifies Native American life during the early days of the United States.
In all fairness, Richter's novel does try to examine the differences (good and bad) of the two cultures and the ways in which both misunderstand each other. It does this through True Son's forced re-assimilation into Pennsylvania society. He had been born John Cameron Butler but had been kidnapped and raised by a nearby tribe.
The reasons behind the initial kidnapping are never made clear. The book concentrates mostly on the aftermath of his return and how he loathes being "home" and forced to live with people he now considers savages.
Although True Son is the focus of the book, he is so full of teenage angst and wankery that he's an uninteresting character. I found myself more intrigued by Del Hardy, the man who brings True Son back to his parents because he can speak both English and Delaware and is the only character who seems to see both sides of situation with any clarity or empathy.
To learn more check out Markings: Days of Her Life, Book Talk 7.