The Spirit Keeper
Western Pennsylvania’s earliest frontier settlers know they are taking a risk. In 1747, tension is building between English colonists and French Canada, for both sides claim lands west of the Appalachians. Indians from many tribes have been pushed into that region as the coastal plain developed, and raids on outlying farms have increased.
Seventeen-year old Katie O’Toole’s family is dozens strong, yet they cannot prevent Indians from killing the men and dragging away the women and children. The captives will be sold to the French, who will then ransom them back to Pennsylvania.
Katie can go home if she wishes, but she is the thirteenth child of a desperately poor family and has known nothing but starvation and abuse for all her life. She abandons her family and remains with Syawa, a seer who, with his companion, Hector, crossed the Rockies in search of a vision. Syawa had “seen” a woman of strength and courage: the Creature of Fire and Ice. Red-haired, blue-eyed Katie fits the description perfectly. She takes Syawa’s hand and never looks back.
K.B. Laugheed’s The Spirit Keeper is a fine read for adults and teens, and she does a terrific job depicting the clash of worlds as Katie, Syawa, and Hector come to understand each other. Her writing flows like the great river the trio crosses in this beautifully-told tale, with vernacular which enhances the story without overwhelming. I was sorry to see The Spirit Keeper come to an end, but it’s “Ledger One,” and that bodes well for the future. Highly recommended.