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A Yellow Raft in Blue Water: A Novel [Paperback]

Item : A Yellow Raft in Blue Water: A Novel [Paperback]
List Price  : $18.00
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Category : Books
Author Author : Dorris, Michael
ISBN-10 ISBN-10 : 0312421850
ISBN-13 ISBN-13 : 9780312421854
Publisher Publisher : Picador
Pages Pages : 384
Binding Binding : Paperback
Item ID : 100372595

Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past.

Understanding the Novel

1. Rayona is the first of three different narrators we encounter in A Yellow Raft in Blue Water. Who are the other two? How are these three individuals connected? That is, how are both their lives and their narratives connected?

2. Who are Rayona's parents, and how does she feel about them? Which parent matters more to her, and why? Describe Rayona (or Ray, as she is also known). How old is she? What are her likes and dislikes? Where does she live? Is she smart? What does she look like? What does she think of herself? And what do we learn of Ray's social, ethnic, religious, and economic background?

3. Near the end of Chapter 2, Ray realizes that, from now until who knows when, she will live on the reservation with Aunt Ida. Then she drops to the ground and begins to pull weeds out by their roots, scratch them out with my fingernails. I must make the soil smooth, even, without bristles . . . Nothing else matters to me. Nothing but fixing this dirt. Why is Ray so focused on fixing the grassy earth?

4. How do most of the characters in A Yellow Raft in Blue Water regard Father Tom? What point might author Michael Dorris be making here about relations between the Catholic Mission workers and the citizens of the reservation? Also, why does Ray in particular have grounds to despise Father Tom?

5. Who are Sky and Evelyn? Where doló#

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