Totems of September – A Novel of Loss, Healing and Redemption By Robin LaDue & Mary Kay Voss
Edmonds, WA. In their first historical novel, Totems of September, Native American Emmy-nominated author Robin LaDue and journalist Mary Kay Voss use the Native American storytelling tradition of circles on circles and lives on lives. It is interspersed with the culture of the Northwest and Plains tribes through the use of animal legends and myths.
The juxtaposition of Wyoming’s Devils Tower and the tragedy of September 11 brings to light little-known Native American history as well as current themes: US soldiers’ struggle through the fog of war, PTSD stemming from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the devastating health risks of 9/11 rescue workers. Three memorable characters–dating from the early 1900s to 2006–their lineage and their families are woven together through the threads of history, human connections, hope and redemption.
The tenacity, warmth, humor and love of Geronimo Barse and Billy Hawk shine through their painful experiences in the Indian boarding schools, World War II, and the loss of so many loved ones. Lola LeFleur and all the LeFleur women before her and to follow fight desperately to change their perceived destiny.
The warmth and healing of the Ranch, and the stability of Devils Tower in a world of terror, are integral factors in the rebuilding of so many shattered lives.
About the book: Totems of September by Robin LaDue & Mary Kay Voss ISBN: 978-1940598000 Publisher: Book Publishers Network Date of publish: October 2013 Pages: 356 S.R.P.: $21.95
About the author: Dr. Robin LaDue is a retired clinical psychologist formerly in private practice in Washington State. She was born in Seattle but raised in the Sacramento, California area.
Robin’s grandfather and great-uncles were survivors of the Cushman Boarding School, having been removed from their parents and experienced the horrors of having their hair cut, not being able to speak their language, and losing their culture. This heritage, along with Dr. LaDue’s passion for helping Native women raise healthy babies and addressing the problems of oppression and loss in Native communities, were driving forces in her personal and professional life.
She received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Washington State University; has been affiliated with the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and with the University of Washington’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Native American Center for Excellence, and Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The award winning author of the Journey through the Healing Circle books and video, Dr. LaDue has lectured worldwide on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and historical trauma in Native American communities, as well as the treatment for and consequences of psychological trauma, including traditional Native methods of treatment. She is an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe of Washington. This is her first historical novel.