Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review & Giveaway, Stone and Silt by Harvey Chute

Stone and SiltBlurb:
A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love.

My Thoughts:

I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I was just surprised by how very young it comes across. I expected that because the heroine is sixteen or nearly sixteen, it would have a tone of a sixteen-year-old. It felt more like an eleven or twelve-year-old, and perhaps this was done because that's the age group it's aimed at...but with the girls her age around her getting married or becoming prostitutes, the fact she was still running around in the woods playing "hunt" was weird. Back then, kids grew up fast, had more responsibilities, so I was surprised by this.

The mystery is pretty cool, what there is of it. She witnesses a possible crime--or the makings of it, and finds some gold stashed away that ends up going missing. A dumb mistake on her part leads to her father being arrested and she must trace the origins of a mysterious brooch to find whodunit.

Immersed with this is the fact she is half-Indian,  half-Scottish, and sorta becoming interested in a Chinese boy. I don't have to tell you the difficulties that would have arose with this back then.

There are also Native American customs thrown in. And this leads me to my next quibble: the story got off track for too long. While the mystery intrigued me, around the 50% mark it went off track for so long, I grew bored and it began to lose me. It went to her NA family, customs, small pox, town life...and I was like, "Wait a minute...let's get on with it. I want to know whodunit."

Third, lots of things were far too predictable. I saw so many things coming way before they officially did: the spyglass, the stones...while the heroine was trying to figure out what the stones were, I immediately made the connection, as soon as the words were spoken. Some things were just too obvious to me. This detracted from my enjoyment; however, one must keep in mind this is aimed at younger readers.

Favorite part:

"It faces the river currents. Every day, rough water. Not so easy a life for a rock, being ground up by the flow and the silt. But after a time, the river has done all it can do. The rock is transformed into something so strong, so smooth. So beautiful."

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review the book! I appreciate your thoughtful comments. - Harvey