I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Inherit the Tide
Ken Boire
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Rd. #515, Parker, CO 80134

Rating: Excellent - Highly Recommended
ISBN: 1-59800-152-3, $14.95, 208 pp, 2005

Absolutely wonderful! Beautifully written, sensitive and touching.

Little ten-year-old Hecky learns of his Native American heritage through his Grandma’s stories while he is slowly recuperating from an accident. They sit by the warm stove while she spins her tales of Arctic adventure, the sea, romance, and the pioneers of early lumber-town Seattle.

I want to give you an idea of Ken Boire’s writing style and gift which I can only do by quoting excerpts. I like to include excerpts in my reviews because we all have different tastes and must decide for ourselves what we like and what we do not, what we think is good writing and what is not. Once in a blue moon we might be favored to come across something quite exceptional. After you have read the excerpts below, I hope you too will agree that his writing is something quite special, as is the author’s spirit.

First excerpt–page 4:

She ruffled the pillow behind me and placed a cup of hot cocoa in front of me and combed her fingers through my hair again. I didn’t hurt inside anymore. "Grandson, I will tell you how you have the spirit of the wind and tide, and why you are strong like the sea. Your history is rich with adventure and triumph but also has brushes with ne’er-do-wells, criminals, and outright failures. This story starts one hundred years ago, far away, to the north of here in the high Arctic near the top of the world. It has adventure, love, and hate. Listen carefully, for this is your story and someday you must tell it to another generation, too." She leaned back in her chair, close to my side now, with shoes off and stocking feet extended past mine toward the cook stove, and began her story in her warm, low voice, a cello.

Second excerpt–pages 198-199, the Grandma speaking of her parents:

"My parents were deeply in love with each other and shared a glowing mutual respect. When Val died, my mother could hardly bear up under the pain. They had been best friends, like one person, and when he died, some of her died, too. She never recovered from it.

"The winter following his death, she took a trip by herself to the Arctic. Perhaps she was looking for his spirit there, for inside she was still a native and they have a different way of thinking about the dead. She made the trip up north by steamer in the late summer, and when she got there the coming of winter was in the air. She stayed on, and found someone to take her to a village in the direction of the place where she had lived as a child. She wrote to me that she would sit for hours outside and watch the northern lights and listen to the wind bringing in the winter. When the long winter night came and the sea had frozen over, she said goodbye to everyone and left a letter behind for me. She wandered alone out on the sea ice. She never came back.

"In that letter she wrote the poems I recited to you earlier. I have read the letter so many times I have it in my memory. She also wrote, ‘You are born of the wind and the tide. You are the result of a man so strong and loyal I cannot bear to be without him. He is part of me, and soon he and I shall be together again. Your life will go on as it must, for you have great things to bring to this world. Among them must be the legacy to all that follow us, that they too are creatures of the wind and the tide, and within them they have the strength of the ocean.’"

Ken Boire, a Native American, claims that he was born facing the wind on the icy shores of the Bering Sea. He lives in Beaverton, Oregon, and is a consulting economist specializing in natural resource issues. Inherit the Tide is his debut novel and his next book is titled In the Company of Fishers.

Review by Kaye Trout - March 20, 2006 - Copyright


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