Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Montana 1948

Montana 1948
Author: Larry Watson
I thought this story was a good read. I found myself wanting to know more about the characters.
This book is compared to the book "To Kill a Mockingbird". I believe To Kill a Mockingbird was a much stronger book. I found Montana 1948, the characters somewhat weak. And something was missing from it. What was missing from it? A reason for why Frank did what he did. Why just single out Indian women? He was a doctor, people both men and women looked up to him.
The story was told in 1st person by David Haydon. Son of Wesley and Gail Haydon. David through the story you could tell was seeking out who his father really was.
Being that his dad was a sheriff in Montana, why wasn't Wesley dressed like a real cowboy? Instead he wears brogans and a fedora. Not Stetsons and boots. He just didn't fit the ideal person to be in the occupation that he had.
David's mom wanted his dad to work as a lawyer for what he graduated as. But being from a family with a father of his own that is tough as nails and following tradition. Wesley could not be anything else. Of course one son is favored over the other and it wasn't Wes. But Wes stood back and let his brother get the attention and let his dad feel good.
Being that David's Uncle Frank gets all the attention and is a doctor is another reason why David doesn't understand why the actions that his family took when they heard about Marie being sick and she not wanting Frank Haydon to look after her.
Marie was an Indian girl that helped the Haydon household do their daily routine. Especially David. She fell sick and died. She wouldn't let Frank near her. The story finally came out from Marie that Frank was touching the Indian women in inapporiate ways.
Again David is wondering why his father is not believing Marie. It took a woman, Gail Haydon to believe and push the issue. Wes finally did some research on this. And it is a shame that the period of time like 1948 that it was against all moral law that white people didn't associate with the Indians. So on the sly Wes had to meet with the Indian elders. Who most should respect.
Again Wesley is in a fix when his own father who does not want to believe that his favorite son has done something immoral.
With the period of time this book was set in the old saying, "Children should be seen and not heard" was apparent in this story. David knew all along what was going on. He also knew why his family kept sending him out of ear shot. But David never found the right moment to say anything. He was the smartest of them all. He seen his father carry around grief on his shoulders and no one to share support with. David was growing up. To think in the begining he thought the hardest part of his job was the criminals that he had to face.
Wesley did what he had to do. Wes never got to complete and teach his brother a valuable lesson. To let Frank become a man that his patients and family could respect again.
Something bad happened to Frank one night. And Wesley's father,David's grandfather never wanted to have anything to do with Wesley and his family again.
David knew after what happened solved their problems. Especially Indian women could go back to seeing a doctor without fear of being assaulted. David's family started a new life. And for the very first time David saw his father being his own man. Wesley started his own family's tradition.
"Don't blame Montana"! I think that sums it up. It wasn't the state, but some of the family that wouldn't support other family. It was a growing and learning experience for a son that will have a greater respect for his father and mother. A son,brother and husband that made bad choices and paid dearly for it.
What would I have like to see in the story? One thing is probably more written about why Frank did what he did. Why did he have to treat women, (Indian) especially like that?
I give this book:

Amazon says:
There are 104 reviews for this book.

This is a bookcrossing book. And at this time I do not know where Montana will go next.

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1 comment:

ajl119 said...

the reason frank did what he did didn't have 2 b clearly explained it was shouted out in his attitude. There was a reason this story was set in montana in the year 1948. people back then were really racist and white people were seen as superior. if it was set in this time it wouldn't get the reaction of being wrong people would simple go so what he slept with an indian but back in 1948 it was seen as a big deal people disliked the indians with a passion the wanted as little to do with them as possible. frank was showing the indians how little people cared about them that he could do whatever he liked to them and no one would do a damn thing to stop him because she was just another stupid indian that no one wanted there in the 1st place