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Because of Cole-Dai’s ability to change a historical event into such a brilliant tale, I became fascinated with understanding the historical context of The Dakota War of 1862. Cole-Dai combines storytelling with history using authentic language and engaging descriptions. Before reading Beneath the Same Stars, my knowledge of The Dakota War was minimal, but this book prompted me to research what I could find about this heartbreaking event.
Through the point of view of Sarah Wakefield, Cole Dai’s presents an intriguing tale that makes one question ideologies that shaped and transformed the evolution of the United States. I like how Sarah is not your typical woman during the era of the 1800s. She’s like a rebel that attempts to “live her best life” regardless of what is occurring around her. What do I like about Sarah this most? I don’t think that I can pinpoint one significant thing. She dressed like a man to escape. She challenges flawed ideology about race and gender. She makes you examine your own understanding of the role of class. Sarah demonstrates how selflessness can transform the lives of people around you.
With the Thanksgiving Holiday quickly approaching, I believe that you will enjoy reading Beneath the Same Stars and gain a very thought-provoking view to analyze the history of the United States. I love that Cole Dai seems to silently invoke in the reader a desire to be open to differences that people possess and to appreciate the complexity of history to make effective change. I am glad that I was able to read this text, and I hope that you take the time to read it as well. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.
About the Book
August 18, 1862. On the Sioux reservation in southwestern Minnesota, Indians desperate for food and freedom rise up against whites in the region. Sarah Wakefield, the wife of a physician, is taken captive with her two babies. Their fate falls into the hands of the warrior Ćaske, with whom she has slim acquaintance. As war rages, little does she know how entwined their lives will become.
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Beneath the Same Stars is the gripping story of two people, caught between worlds, who are willing to do almost anything to defend those they care about—including each other. But the drama is bigger than themselves. Tragic forces have been set in motion.