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An American Indian's Search for Belonging - an Editorial Review of "The Lonely Spirit"



Book Blurb:


The Lonely Spirit is a short story collection sprawled across the Old West. As the only half-Comanche U.S. Marshal, L.S. Quinn straddles two worlds, searching for peace in both.

Quinn is one of the best Marshals, well-respected for finding criminals and bringing them to justice. His adventures pit him against criminals like Florence Finnegan, the famous brothel owner and gunslinger, and Jack Mattherson, whose attack on U.S. Senator William Quincy brings out Quinn’s desire for revenge. But Quinn isn’t always lucky: when one of his partners turns into his enemy on a lonely stretch of land, Quinn no longer knows whom to trust.


The fight between the Comanche and the United States Army is never far from Quinn’s mind, either. When the Army kills his fiancée, Quinn must rebuild his life, even as he finds himself a lasting enemy in Colonel Ranald Mackenzie, a respected Civil War veteran.


But Quinn’s journeys also bring him into contact with kindness he does not anticipate in such a wild land. To his surprise, sympathy comes in the form of Colonel Robert Graypool, whose level-headed command of the Comanche reservation at Fort Sill brings out Quinn’s respect when he least expects it. Humanity also resides in Dr. Mary Newcomb, one of the few women physicians of the day. In both of them, Quinn finds some of the community for which he searches.


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Editorial Review:


Wrong does not erase to be wrong, because the majority share in it.” - LEO TOLSTOY


Leo Tolstoy considered the greatest writer of all time makes a mute-point when it comes to racism. However, it has not remained muted, most notably the atrocities of the American Civil War, and should not even be up for debate in the twenty-first century, yet here we are once again. Minorities come from every lifestyle, and they all have one thing in common. The majorities perception of fear from not understanding diverse cultures and believing the haters racial disparagement of said targeted culture.


Tamar Anolic has written a powerful example proving that we writers often do not go far enough into delving into controversial subjects, especially when writing from the point of view of what minorities have faced for centuries – that of persecution, hate, slavery, ethnic cleansing, and deadly violence.


Author Tamar Anolic has written several short stories and specializes in historical fiction and military history, making the switch from Russian themed novels such as The Russian Riddle to the American military novel The Last Battleand finally to Lonely Spirit, whichtakes place in the outermost United States military post west of Fort Smith Arkansas shortly after the American Civil War, west of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and centered around a young Comanche named Lonely Spirit. The author starts the story without wasting the reader's time about what this story is about:


You are different from the rest of the tribe, Lonely Spirit, and the tribe has always treated you poorly for it,” Smells the Sunrise said. “You never deserved any of it- you cannot always choose your station in life.” Lonely Spirit glanced to the east and was glad that the sun had not yet risen. The night’s darkness hid his tears. He clutched his horse’s reins, then took a step towards the animal. “You may not be treated any better even if you find your white father,” Smells the Sunrise warned. “I know,” Lonely Spirit answered. “But I must try. I have spent nineteen winters among our people, and still, nobody wants me here.” Smells the Sunrise swallowed. “Mother would prefer you stay, as would I. But you need to make your own decision.” Lonely Spirit climbed onto the gray horse’s back. “May he carry you well,” Smells the Sunrise said. Lonely Spirit’s throat clenched. He wished he could say something, but all he did was spur the animal beneath him. Within seconds, he was riding away from the only home he had ever known.


Lonely Spirit is a half-breed Native American who experiences racism from both sides of the coin and who is adamant on finding his white father. He experiences many of the same racism that minorities face today, such as prejudice against interracial relationships, and he worries whether his white father will accept him This is one of my favorite passages describing how Lonely Spirit feels being in a strange environment. Imagine yourself in a different country and not able to speak the language.


He noticed people stared at him as he sat down. Undeterred, he stared right back. Once he was settled in his chair, he noticed two men at a nearby table. They looked at him momentarily before going back to their own food and conversation. Both had dark hair and dark eyes, but the similarities ended there. One man was broad shouldered and barrel chested, the other thin and pale. Both had badges pinned on their chests, five-pointed stars within circles. Who are they? Lonely Spirit wondered. They don’t look Army, but they must be the types that can arrest people….”


Lonely Spirit is confused when he first tries visiting his father’s office and worries he will be rejected. In the end he realizes he must encounter the secretary who he fears is trying to keep his father from him:


Both Senator Quincy and Benjamin were there when Lonely Spirit arrived. Benjamin was sitting at his desk. Senator Quincy stood in front him, and Lonely Spirit got his first glimpse of his white father in profile. He is tall, the same height as I am, Lonely Spirit thought. His heart rate increased as he took in Senator Quincy’s longish hair, his patrician nose and muscular frame. I look more like him than I ever knew. Benjamin looked up and caught sight of Lonely Spirit. He looked annoyed, and Lonely Spirit debated whether to leave.


I recommend everyone to read this book with an open mind and understand for us as human beings we must grapple and come to terms with our own prejudices and look deep inside ourselves. This book is a great learning tool from a victim's point of view, and for that it is highly recommended.


“Just because racist’s view is shared by a majority does not make it right.”


*****


“Lonely Spirit” by Tamar Anolic receives five stars from The Historical Fiction Company and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence


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Author Bio:


Tamar is a writer who specializes in historical fiction and military fiction. Her short stories have been published in The Copperfield Review, The Sandy River Review, The Helix, Foliate Oak, Frontier Tales, Pen In Hand, Evening Street Review, Every Day Fiction and The Magazine of History and Fiction.

Her historical books focus on the Romanovs and include The Russian Riddle, a nonfiction biography, and the novels Triumph of a Tsar, Through the Fire, and The Imperial Spy. Her military fiction includes the novel The Last Battle, about a female veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and The Fledgling’s Inferno, science fiction about a gene that runs in military families and causes superpowers.


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