Book Review

Call My Name the Wind – Book Discussion

Book Rating: Not Rated (See Below)

Matt Steel Donovan is scared of his own blood. Half-Native American, he has tossed aside his heritage, joining a group of Neo-Nazis in order to hash out the fear inside of him from a childhood of abuse. Meanwhile, Gloria Palmer has been trying to escape her father’s influence since she was a young girl, only to be put on a trajectory to repeat his mistakes. As Matt and Gloria’s destinies intertwine, can they come to terms with the right path for their lives? Or will they be stuck in the same patterns as ever before?

In a passionate and personal tale, David Oser has woven a story about real people facing the needlework of their past. Call My Name the Wind focuses on the key point: how much does your familial destiny define you, and how far can you run from it?

I guess this plot about family is why I choose not to rate this book, and it has nothing to do with the quality of it. In fact, I think the story was quite good and I do recommend people read it. But, the reason why I chose not to rate this book is that I know I cannot do so without bias, as the author, David Oser, is my dearly-departed maternal grandfather.

It took me many years to read this book. Initially published in 2005, I was no older than 10-years-of-age when he wrote it. At the time, obviously, the topics were not for me. Even as I tried to read it in high school, it was too cumbersome. Part of it might have been the writing style, while on the other hand, it could have been the topic. But I wanted to make time to read his books, and having this copy on my shelf already, I chose to read his sophomore novel first. I’ve always said that he is the author who inspired me; and he still is. He was a talented writer, but it was how I saw him writing while growing up that inspired me to pursue my own path as a writer. He also published independently, so I suppose just like Matt and Gloria, my path is woven into my genetics as well.

The story is told in a circle, similar to many folk tales. We start at the present, and then go back in time, to see what brought Matt and Gloria together, and how their decisions ultimately played out. Like the wind, the story wisps through time, capturing these pivotal moments in heart beats. Knowing how my grandfather constructed this novel, I am certain that he pulled from the lives of people he had met. My grandfather (and grandmother, for that matter) always had this way of meeting different people with unimaginable stories. So, I would not be surprised if the story of Matt and Gloria is very similar to those he knew. That’s the beauty behind the book though: it’s real.

Yes, there are a few formatting and grammatical issues I noticed, and there were parts where I wished to explore the characters and their decisions more. While I would never alter the contents of the story, one day I would love to republish my grandfather’s novels on Kindle, editing for some of these minor grammar and formatting issues, while keeping everything else the same. This would let the windy voice of his novels take hold on a group of new readers, but all will happen in time.

Needless to say, Call My Name the Wind is an emotional, important book about family, our genetics, and how our heritage entwines with who we are as a whole. And remember to always follow the wind, because it will bring you home.

What’s it about?

Call My Name the Wind is introduced by a Native American Myth that knits its way through the story and focuses on Matt Steele, who driven by blood inflicted events, conceals his Native background. he descends into the quagmire of white supremacist violence and despair until the epiphany that brings him together with Gloria Palmer who helps him return to the destiny tattooed across his genetic pool. 

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