Dancing on Coals - Ellen O'Connell Oh, Ms. O'Connell, I so enjoy discovering each of your books. Yet another incredibly well done book - I was hooked from the beginning. Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold still remains my favorite of hers, but I enjoyed this one almost as much. I think perhaps what stopped this from being equal was there wasn't as much POV from Gaetan as there was from Cord in Eyes. And when you have a strong, silent man (like both of these characters) the internal POV helps the reader connect with them a little better. Or perhaps it was just that Gatean doesn't actually admit (even to himself) that he loves Katherine until the very end of the book. I'm a big romantic and enjoy touchy, mushy moments so I guess I missed that a little bit. There was one scene though near the end when they are reunited that practically made up for any other lack I felt there was there - my heart melted in a big way!

I love how O'Connell builds up the relationship and tension between her characters so there is a substantial basis to base their love for each other on. I think that's why of the reasons I love her writing so much. This book, of course, is no exception.

Katherine was a great character. She was strong, had depth, a great background to build on - really well done all around with her.

The setting for this book was actually very educational for me. I knew, of course, that Indians were forced onto reservations around this time, but really none of the harsh realities of what that meant exactly. Growing up on the east coast I learned virtually nothing about this part of our history in middle/high school and in college I studied European history, so this was the first time I had really read about how exactly everything went down. It was very enlightening. I feel awful about my ignorance now really - this book really brought home what these people suffered, and relatively recently. O'Connell mentions in the Afterword that even in 1915 traveling was dangerous and it wasn't until 1924 that Indians became citizens. I really felt for Lupe, Gaetan, Ista, Echo and their people and when they were rounded up and forced into poverty, and all the more because this type of thing actually happened!