Ghost Dance

Ghost Dance

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Recently divorced, hoping to jumpstart his journalistic career at the prestigious Washington Herald, Kyle Hansen returns to Montana to write a series of articles on the upcoming Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, and on his first day back he meets Ginny Foster, the tall, striking wife of a football coach he hated. Pursue, Kyle thinks, for lust, for revenge, but he has only two weeks. Then five white men assault two Indian kids in a bar and in retaliation Montana's Blackfoot Tribe blockades roads in and out of Glacier Park. Kyle's editor, Jack Leventhal, assigns him to stay and cover the story. Kyle wanders haunted battlefields. He seeks a mysterious Holy Road. He climbs Bear Butte in South Dakota, a mountain sacred to many Indian tribes. He dances the legendary ghost dance. He asks to be absolved of his wrongs, He asks to see his dead brother again. Kyle's college football teammate Salmon Thirdkill, school principal on a God forsaken Indian reservation, becomes dangerously involved. Someone masterminds a series of cattle killings. Politicians mangle things. Charles Rodenbough, author of several books, writes in his review, ..".Kyle Hansen discovers he can not be a savior. He can use his newspaperman's shell of insensitivity to get to the story, but is he using his friends or are they using him?" David Aronson, author of a guide to sophisticated stock market investing, says in his review: "Ken writes, 'Like most reporters over thirty, Kyle Hansen had little faith in human nature.' Yet he gives us a man who on the darkest of nights can glimpse ahead the lights of Twodot or the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and drive on with anticipation..." We see the importance of sports in little prairie towns. We see the loneliness of great spaces. Ever in the background is Kyle's memory of his brother drowning on the Blackfoot River, on a college raft trip Kyle organized. Charles Rodenbough says: "This is not a story of 'you can't go home again.' It is the story of the introspective exercise that most of us go through some time in life when performing our lives, we step on a rake.'" The Lewistown, Montana News Argus, in its review of the book, says: "Ken's deep Montana roots are evident in the landscape and story of the novel. He vividly captures the texture of growing up in Montana in the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st...The real-life near drowning of his brother haunted Ken through the decades since that day on the Blackfoot on Western Montana. 'I asked myself years later, 'What if he did drown?' and that's when I began writing the book.'" Kyle Hansen perseveres. Magnetism propels him and Ginny Foster together. Violence rears. Choices must be made. "Sports," Kyle learns, can break your heart.
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