A Clan Mother story for the twenty-first century, Sacred Wilderness explores the lives of four women of different eras and backgrounds who come together to restore foundation to a mixed-up, mixed-blood woman—a woman who had been living the American dream, and found it a great maw of emptiness. These Clan Mothers may be wisdom-keepers, but they are anything but stern and aloof—they are women of joy and grief, risking their hearts and sometimes their lives for those they love. The novel swirls through time, from present-day Minnesota to the Mohawk territory of the 1620s, to the ancient biblical world, brought to life by an indigenous woman who would come to be known as the Virgin Mary. The Clan Mothers reveal secrets, the insights of prophecy, and stories that are by turns comic, so painful they can break your heart, and perhaps even powerful enough to save the world. In lyrical, lushly imagined prose, Sacred Wilderness is a novel of unprecedented necessity.
Susan Power writes with the passion, tenderness, and grace to knock down walls and expose what’s been unseen. Sacred Wilderness is a feast, full of fierce love, unexpected humor, and wisdom both timely and timeless.
—Rachel Kadish, author of From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story
Power’s characters laugh, shout, whisper, and speak to readers long after the page has been turned, the book has been closed, the library door has been shut. With organic structure reminiscent of oral tradition and brilliant form evocative of the finest literary craft, Power’s stories unveil all that is meaningful and memorable in our shared human experience.
—Ernestine Hayes, author of Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir
Set in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the story moves across time and space with a cast of loveable characters such as Ojibwe elder Gladys Swan and her wise cat Zhigaag. They’ve all come together in order to heal Candace Jenssen, yet Sacred Wilderness, the message, heals us all. A triumph!
—Leanne Howe, author of Shell Shaker
Every new book by Susan Power is cause for celebration. This vibrant work is no exception. Her vision is intact: vivid, telling, honest, and transcendent. Power is a treasure and a true artist.
—Luis Alberto Urrea, award-winning author of Queen of America, Into the Beautiful North, and The Hummingbird’s Daughter