In the beautiful Puget Sound valley, there are bones beneath our feet . . .
BONES BENEATH OUR FEET is the lively historical epic tale of the conquest of the Natives of Puget Sound by the "Boston" tribe. Focused on the period from 1844-1858, BONES BENEATH OUR FEET explodes with political intrigue, stormy intermarriage, misunderstanding and fear, sudden massacres, tender mercies, greed and sacrifice, trials of law and of spirit, open warfare and martial law, funerals and tears. This astonishing tale resonates powerfully even today: though the gravestone of Chief Leschi, leader of the Native cause, reads: "LESCHI - Judicially Murdered Feb. 19, 1858," in 2004 Leschi's name was cleared by a special Historical Court of Inquiry headed by the Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court. This is not just a native story. It is the story of all Americans who live on this beautiful land - a story for all who are passionate about tolerance, dignity and liberty.
|Publisher:||Bennett & Hastings Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.83(d)|
About the Author
Pushcart Prize twice. He is founder and director of the LiTFUSE Poets’ Workshop,
held annually in Tieton, Washington, and has taught poetry and fiction at writers
conferences. Michael runs Rubric LLC, a company that provides seminars for attorneys on legal history, legal ethics and current events. Previously, Michael
taught American Legal History at Seattle University Law School, and served on the
speakers’ bureau of the ACLU of Washington. Michael is married and has two daughters.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
BONES BENEATH OUR FEET combines a thrilling ride though Puget Sound's Wild West era with a powerful story of social injustice. The main protagonist, Nisqually Chief Leschi, is a tragic character who is all the better for his occasional weakness and self-doubt, because this makes him more real. The portrayal of first Territorial Governor Stevens is spot-on based on the actual historical record, since he was totally consumed with the need to destroy Leschi in order to salve his own guilty conscience for cheating the Natives out of their land. This is a big book for a big land - everything is bigger in the Pacific Northwest. Schein, who has lived here for many years, obviously knows this land well, and writes it beautifully. I especially enjoyed the Battle of Seattle, which is virtually orchestrated from multiple viewpoints. I give BONES my highest recommendation!
Michael Schein's novel, Bones Beneath Our Feet, does for the Pacific Northwest what Nathaniel Philbrick did for the East Coast in Mayflower. The history of First People and Boston tribes in the Puget Sound is meticulously researched and brought to life with sensitive depictions and dialog that reads itself from the page. Chief Leschi's dignified acceptance of change is contrasted with other tribes' unwillingness to compromise, and with the Boston tribe's blind following of law and politics. Honest dealings prove, as they so often do, insufficient to change minds or save lives, while the beautiful landscape and well-crafted relationships fall prey to war. The author claims some poetic license in the ordering and telling of events, and uses it well, building a story on true facts and bringing those facts to life. Huge numbers of characters people the pages yet somehow are never confusing, all seeming like old friends when they reappear. Each voice is convincingly given its say with multiple points of view building up to a well-rounded depiction of trust betrayed, communication found wanting, and hope misplaced. But the deepest hopes are reserved for a land that is never truly owned. Their bones still lie beneath our feet, and forest and stream will never belong to us; they're just on loan. Chief Leschi bent to the wind of change, was wounded by the guns of betrayal, and was judicially murdered in 1858 by the political machinations of American law. His story may be history, but this story reminds us real people lived that history, and real history continues to be lived today. Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of this book by Bennet & Hasting Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Bones Beneath Our Feet by Michael Schein is a powerful and deeply moving historical novel about the conquest of the Puget Sound area by the "Bostons" as white people were known in the mid-nineteenth century. Based on research of the actual historical record, the story brings alive the struggles for justice by Chief Leschi and the Nisqually tribe who were being cheated out of their land by the infamous Governor Isaac Stevens. This story is a gripping one and beautifully written with vivid descriptions of the landscape that we all love. The characters, both historical and created, come alive as they fight and love throughout this big book. I especially loved his descriptions of the culture of the indigenous people, much of which may be lost today. We need the wisdom of the native peoples more than ever to balance the degradation of the landscape. I highly recommend Bones Beneath Our Feet to all who love the land and its history as well as those who love a damn good story with fine writing. And it has all the elements needed for a powerful movie. Having read Michael Schein's first book, Just Deceits, I anticipated that his second book would be one that I would want to purchase and Bones Beneath Our Feet has my highest recommendation! J. Glenn Evans, author of Broker Jim.
I was surprised at the negative library journal review this book received! I read Michael Schein's previous book, Just Deceits, and loved it, so I wanted to read his new book right away. I was not disappointed at all. I am a Pacific Northwesterner, and I delighted in Schein's gorgeous descriptions of the landscape I love, as well as his vivid conjuring of the no-longer-visible historical landscape. I found his characters gripping and effective at bringing the history alive. I am very familiar with the history of this area, and was impressed with the accuracy and quantity of historical detail. The book lingered with me after I finished, and I strongly recommend it to lovers of history, grand-scale stories, and fine writing.