Beyond the Green
In this semi-autographical tearjerker set in 1979, Britta has just found out that her foster sister, Dori, is going back to live with her birth mother on the Uintah-Ouray Indian Reservation in Utah. But Britta isn't going to give up her little sister easily.
Eleven-year-old Britta's big Mormon family took in little Dori--a member of the Ute tribe--as a baby. Now, four years later, Dori's birth mother, Irene, is ready to take Dori back. Blunt and feisty, Britta is filled with anger. How can Irene claim Dori when she's been gone all this time? Britta will stop at nothing to keep her sister, even if it means running away or failing to see beyond her prejudices.
This is a heartfelt novel with lessons to learn for young readers.
Set in 1979, Britta and her Mormon family live in Alba, along the Red Cap River by the Uinta Valley Indian Reservation. When Britta is about 8 years old, her family takes in a baby girl from an Indian mother who was unfit to keep her due to alcoholic consumption and rehab.
Britta, her siblings and the little girl are growing up together on the family farm and they become inseparable. They call themselves the ‘The Four Banditos’. But when Dori turns four years old, the family receives the call that her mother wants her little girl back.
This hits the siblings hard and Britta devices many ways on keeping that from happening. Once she takes Dori and her other sister along to run away, another time she tries to sabotage Dori’s mother by making her look like she still has the same consumption problem. As all her other little efforts fail to prevent the unimaginable from happening, the reader follows Britta’s moments of anger and defeat to love, unselfishness and wisdom.
This is a poignant read with a history lesson in humanity! It touches on the aspects of religion, Native Americans and WWII. And all though most know snippets here and there of either of these, there is something new to be learned in this well researched novel. It focuses locally in the region of the Uinta Valley and of its history that effects the inhabitants either Indian or white homesteaders. One of the main issue here is The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
Although I enjoyed the novel, it may be best used to serve as a history lesson then a leisure read. There is no sugar coating of themes like alcoholism, prejudice and religion. They are dealt with directly and are real.
This book was not what I expected at first, and for me the latter half was the better part of the book. I appreciate the author’s note at the end of the novel. I realize the there was a lot of research done to portray an as close as possible accurate setting. I definitely learned something new.
I received a digital copy of "Beyond the Green' from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you!