Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cupid Reads Cedar Woman by Debra Shively Welch

Winner of the Best Native American Non-fiction for 2011

 Cedar Woman by Debra Shively Welch

Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, a daughter of the Lakota Sioux, opens the first high-end Native American restaurant in Central Ohio. 
This is her story. 
Born in May Hill, Ohio, Lena Cedar Woman travels to Columbus at age 12 after tragedy befalls her family. Here, in the capital city, a chance encounter leads her to her destiny. 
Walk with her as she changes the lives and fortunes of those she loves.
Follow her to powwow where she meets her half-side.
Rejoice with her at the grand opening of her restaurant. 
Cedar Woman allows the reader to learn the ways, and some of the language of The People, while also offering romance and discovery.

Cedar Woman, by Debra Shiveley Welch, is the entertaining story of a young woman: Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, who is a daughter of the Lakota Sioux. We first meet Lena as she performs a cleansing ceremony on her restaurant Cedar Woman the first high-end Native American restaurant in Central Ohio.

"Facing the west, she extended the smoking bowl and intoned: 'Grandfather of the West, this is Cedar Woman. I ask that you keep my feet true and on the Good Red Road. I ask that you guide me on this day, and all days, so that I may continue on this path. I ask that you help in my daily life. Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related.'"

As a young child Lena sees a hummingbird caught in a spider's web, and proceeds to let it free. This is no ordinary child, the town agrees, as the bird then seems to follow her around. Cedar Woman is the story of Lena's life as she journeys from her home as a young girl to Columbus, where chance encounters lead her to her life's true path - that of an extraordinary woman.

Fully researched, filled with plenty of facts about Native American life and references to actual ceremonies and Native American Prayers, Cedar Woman knows of which it speaks. Written authoritatively in a poetic image-filled manner, this story draws pictures for you of peoples' lives and interactions, masterfully showing that, in the end, we are what we were in the beginning "Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related."

As a delightful bonus, included with the book are recipes of many of the foods mentioned in the story, including Fried Deer Liver, Cowichcan Candy (salmon/maple syrup and brown sugar candy), and Buffalo Stew featuring wild turnips.

To help in the use and translation of the Native American language used in the book, Welch also includes a dictionary with the meaning and phonetics. There are three dialects in the Lakota language and there is no standardized spelling. Welch chose the spelling and pronunciation of the words in keeping with the dialect of her sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau, who is of the Lakota Plains Native Americans.

Finally, it is worth noting that a percentage of royalties are donated to "Operation Smile."

Fully entertaining, Cedar Woman is a story that reaches far beyond the boundaries of its pages.

Reviewer: Wendy Thomas, Allbooks Reviews. www.allbooksreviewint.com
Title: Cedar Woman
Author: Debra Shiveley Welch
Publisher: Saga Books http://www.SagaBooks.net
ISBN: 9781897512
Pages: 179
Price: $15.95
For more information: http://www.DebraShiveleyWelch.net


Unknown said...

Sounds not only riveting but hosts such a wealth of cultural knowledge. Love the recipe idea. Wild turnips? As a turnip lover, I just bet these are fabulous.

Like I always tell JQ, she has the most fascinating and unique guests on her blog.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Debra, Thanks for participating in the Cupid Reads event. Congratulations on your book's award!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Karen, Thanks for stopping in. I was fascinated to learn so much about the Native American culture in this book--language and rituals and support. And masterfully woven into the story.

Pat McDermott said...

This book sounds like a jewel. Interesting content and a special heroine. Best to you and your writing, Debra.

gail roughton branan said...

It sounds positively wonderful! As a person who's grown up hearing that the Roughtons had a fair amount of Cherokee blood (though I've never seen any proof of it in writing and can't verify the claim), I've always been fascinated with the American Indian culture.

Unknown said...

Thank you Karen. There are some delicious recipes in the book, some of which are Three Sister Soup (which I make often) frybread, braised buffalo shanks in a honey poblano sauce, Cedar Woman's Aztec Cheesecake and much more.

I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Lila Pilamiyayelo – with many thanks

Unknown said...

Pat, thank you. I have received some excellent reviews from both men and women. I'm very proud of "Cedar Woman."

Toksa Ake Wakan Tanka Nici Un – Walk With God

Unknown said...

It's all in there: ceremonies, beliefs, the language. I had so much fun writing this and my sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau was a consultant on the project.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

As a Metis, I am thrilled to hear about Debra's book, Cedar Woman. So wonderful to see it is filled with culture and wisdom and customs that should never be forgotten. I'm putting it on my list. Best of luck, Debra. Thanks Janice!

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