The Rain from God
Katanaquat, or “The Rain from God,” is an important member of the Narragansett tribe in 17th century America, in the region that is now New England. The reader first meets him as a young man, longing for the respect of adulthood, obedient to his tribal leaders and Miantonomi, his young prince. As the years pass, Katanaquat becomes an embittered warrior: he grows sick of intertribal warfare and betrayal, unhappy with many interactions with the English and Dutch, difficult with his wives and children, suspicious of tribe members who leave to join the Christian church, and bereft of many of his closest friends and family members through early death and misfortune. The novel is ultimately the story of Katanaquat’s conversion to Christianity, and his coming to terms with his earlier difficulties through the help of his new deity. Ammerman includes a glossary of Algonquian terms, historical notes, substantial bibliography, and a readers’ guide for further understanding of the novel. The gigantic cast of characters is not easy to track, but the author does a good job of keeping the main players at the fore.