Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Legend of The Apache Kid by Sarah Black

Sarah Black is an outlaw..She really is. She just refuses to fall in line with what is expected from a story in this genre. Without fail she weaves a story that always make me feel like I've grown a little, like I'm a bit smarter, that I understand things better than I used to. The pacing to this story was in one word SUBLIME...Sarah Black is her own frigging genre.

Raine is sitting in a hot tub in a hotel in New Mexico near Alburqueque and into the tub comes in a young man, an Apache man. Their meeting is brief, the young man is a filmmaker and his "mentor" keeps him on a short leash, but by the time Johnny Bravo walks back to his room, he already made a place for himself in Raine's mind.

Raine is an English professor in Taos, he dabbles in captuting street art, he photographs road signs and street names that say  something interesting. He's happy with this simple life he has, he lives with his father in their little ranch. He likes his job, He LOVES his home...He's comfortable in the place he is.

A year after his meeting with Johnny Bravo in the hot tub, Raine walks in to his favorite coffee shop in Taos to get a cup for himself and his dad  and is surprised to find that his Apache is working there, he has found his way to Taos...To Raine.

It begins nice and easy and the pace of this book was so so amazingly mellow. It was almost like a guided meditation or something. Like so many of Sarah's men Raine was a caretaker he had his daddy, and once JOhnny came into his life he immediately sensed that Johnny was his.

Once Johnny brings his little cousin Edgar, who Raine immediately stars calling Weasel, things fall into place for Raine and his dad they finally have the family that they were waiting for.

The thing is Raine is a bit slow to realize what it is that Johnny needs, he is so afraid that loving Johnny will keep him from achieving his dreams that he fails to see that the only thing that Johnny wants is to be loved by Raine and live his life in love and on the way take some time to capture things on film that he feels the world needs to see.

This book is a love story between men...But not just lovers, no. It's also very much about the love between fathers and sons, friends, family you make, family you have, between a man an his horse and the unique beauty of all those bonds.

Sarah Black writing is so economical and so effective, she does not waste a word and yet always, goes through so many themes and emotions in her books that I never know what to expect. The imagery was poignant and vivid, so many beautiful images in my head. There is so much education in this book, about having a voice that has important things to say and how to keep it from being corrupted by the world, about art and it's role as a beacon for justice, for conserving history, for teaching us that there are a lot more similarities between people than there are differences.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and halfway through began feeling the inevitable regretfulness that I always get reading Sarah's book, because it truly is a crying shame she does not have a bigger audience.

The ending (which I loved) was floaty and open...Sarah's books are not about catering to what we expect as readers, but about taking us to places we seldom go and letting us look around and learn.  Formulas can be fun and reliable, but a lot of times what lingers are the stories that are more about the journey than a tidy ending.

Lovely lovely book.

The Legend of the Apache Kid is for sale at Dreamspinner Press 

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