Title: The Wind Blows in Sleeping Grass
Author: Katie Powner
Major Themes: Montana, Family, Pigs, Pets
Synopsis: A garbage collector with a pet pig, an old woman with regrets, a younger woman keeping secrets and an older Native man with a three-legged dog—how could they work together and take care of each other?
I really enjoyed this book! How could I not enjoy it, when the first chapter introduced a pet potbelly pig and a person saving usable items from the dump, and the second chapter started out with a game that my family enjoys? Even though it deals with some very heavy subjects, The Wind Blows in Sleeping Grass has a lot of comic relief, too. It has a very realistic, normal man for a hero, a villainous villain, hurting women and an old lady living with regrets—in short, the kind of people you would have for neighbors.
Pete Ryman spends his time, these days, picking up garbage in Sleeping Grass, Montana. He never planned to come back to Sleeping Grass, but as a high school dropout who kept losing his temper and getting into fights, he didn’t have many options. Sleeping Grass holds too many memories for him of loneliness and abandonment. He now has a pig to keep him company, though, and meets up with his friend Windy Ray and his 3-legged dog every week to play chicken foot.
Wilma watches Pete every week, praying for him and trying to muster up the courage to admit to Pete how she failed him so many years ago. She also tries to figure out how to help Lily, the young woman she hire to help her take care of her house. She knows what God is telling her to do—but how could she imagine what would the cost would be to her?
Pete is a fun character to read about. I liked the things he thought when he was tempted to swear, like “Tyke on a bike.” There was quite a variety of them. I also loved the way he related to his pig, and how he bumbled through building a relationship with his nephew. The time he talked to him about how each person has value was beautiful. I also really liked Windy Ray’s way of talking about the Creator and how only finding peace with the Creator will satisfy a person. Wilma is a dear lady, too. Overall, I found The Wind Blows in Sleeping Grass an enjoyable read with just the right mixture of romance (two different romances, with endings that surprised me by how realistic they were), mystery, humor, and tragedy. I really appreciated this author’s portrayal of life and how she showed people dealing with hard things. I liked how she wrote characters who were so believable, talking and acting just like real people, with a normal mixture of good and bad character qualities. I’ll be watching for more books by this author.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Chapter 16: Dang. Around chapter 24 a boy bullies other children at school. Chapter 27: Son of a gun. Chapter 33: Darn it. Chapter 36: Why the heck, two men fight. Chapter 39: An animal is abused. In several chapters, a woman is verbally or physically abused, and considers abortion.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults