Book review: The Bones of Paradise
Quantic, Diane D.
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Quantic, Diane D."The Bones of Paradise by Jonis Agee (review)." Western American Literature, vol. 53 no. 4, 2019, pp. 520-521. Project MUSE
"It was midmorning in early May when J.B. Bennett crested the hill, stopped, and surveyed the little Sand Hills meadow where the windmill was slowly clanking in a wobbly circle" (3). This sentence opens Jonis Agee's novel, The Bones of Paradise, signaling that place, the landscape, will be an important element in this story. By the end of the first chapter J. B. Bennett is murdered, his body next to that of an Indian girl named Star. Powerful cattlemen control the lives of everyone around them. It is only ten years after the massacre of Indian men, women, and children at Wounded Knee, on the reservation, a few miles north of the Sand Hills ranches. Agee traces the tension among the Bennett ranches of J.B. and his father Drum, J.B.'s estranged wife Dulcinea, her friends the Indian Rose and Rose's husband Jerome Some Horses, and Graver, a wandering homesteader.
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