#HistoricalMondays Book Review during #Mythothon2 | “Wanders Far” by David Fitz-Gerald

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2019 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I’ve launched a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since [2013] and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.

This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.

I am began this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in [2013] – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I celebrated K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.

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Acquired Book By:

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary of “Wanders Far direct from the author David Fitz-Gerald, exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “Wanders Far”:

I am wicked fascinated by the premise and the heart of the novel I am about discuss today on Jorie Loves A Story – as previously you might have remembered how moving I found the duology by K.B. Laugheed which fits this same special niche of literature within the Historical sphere of how stories of Native Americans are told? If you missed those reviews – you can kindly read my reflections on behalf of “The Spirit Keeper” and “The Gift of the Seer” – wherein you’ll see how these stories truly leave a strong impression and impact on my readerly soul.

When it came to the questions I wanted to ask Mr Fitz-Gerald, they were similar musings I had whilst I was embarking into the Spirit Keeper duology as whenever you have stories which occupy the same niche of literature you love to read – you oft-times find yourself in the same contemplation’s as you had previously when you read a different story or series. For me, I wanted to know more about this world Wanders Far resides inside – curiously curious about which secondary character the author loved to bring forward into the narrative and there are other story specific bits I felt discussing would be quite lovely on the blog tour as in essence, I wanted to help other readers see what I saw in the premise of a novel I was most eager to be reading!

Happily Mr Fitz-Gerald gives such a warm overview of his novel, the evolution of the series “Wanders Far” is set inside and a bit of himself as he recollects how he first started writing this novel, how the name of his lead character came to him in such a pivotal way and why all of us should find a bit of hope and inspiration through reading this novel. He also gave me a chance to share a note about his audiobook release for readers who are interested in listening to the novel rather than reading it in print.

I enjoyed being able to discuss the components of this dramatic Native American Historical Fiction novel which tucks into the Mystical and Mythology of its roots and origins. As I was reading over the  interview, I recognised another layer of why it appealled to me – and that would be the fact for a year now I’ve been purposefully seeking out stories which tuck into this other niche of book love I am exploring: Mythologies, Folk stories and Fables wherein stories are passed down through a lens of Mythos re-creating the truths prior generations knew about and/or capitalising on the mythos and origins of a particular class of people of whom have stories to tell which captivate us all.

I released my reading focus for #Mythothon2 shortly after the interview ran for this blog tour where I discuss more Mythos I’m exploring this September!

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#HistoricalMondays Book Review during #Mythothon2 | “Wanders Far” by David Fitz-GeraldWanders Far
Subtitle: An unlikely hero's journey : Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series
by David Fitz-Gerald
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Wanders Far lived in dangerous times and was faced with one difficult challenge after another. He was a skinny, quiet boy who was raised on the banks of a tributary of New York State’s Mohawk River, hundreds of years before colonists arrived. One lifetime was not enough for Wanders Far’s old soul.

From a very young age, his wanderlust compelled him down one path after another. No village could contain him. He was happy living a simple life in the physical world during challenging times. The spirit world had other plans. A wise, enigmatic shaman mentored Wanders Far and helped him cultivate the supernatural visions that haunted him. His guide could only help him so far.

He set out to become a runner, carrying important messages across the lands of his people and their enemies. He ended up fulfilling a much greater destiny than he ever imagined.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Native American Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781977211378

Also by this author: Wanders Far (Interview)

Published by Self Published

on 11th May, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 187

Published by: Outskirts Press

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
and #AdirondackSpiritSeries or  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About David Fitz-Gerald

David Fitz-Gerald

After a chaotic day as a business person, Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing.

Wanders Far—An Unlikely Hero’s Journey is the first in a series of books in the Adirondack Spirit Series.

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Due note: As this novel is entitled Wanders Far and the character is Wanders Far – if you see these represented as they are here – you’ll know when I refer to the book vs the character.

my review of wanders far:

As we enter into the world of Wanders Far, we arrive meeting Bear Fat, of whom is Wanders Far’s mother – she’s in her mid thirties in this instance – contemplating how insects can distract us but if something truly major has afflicted us, nothing can calm our nerves nor erase our discomfort. It was interesting how she lost one of her children (her seventh, as she still has six) through abduction but how her family and community take it as given fact she ought to be thankfully blessed for the children she still has than the one she’s lost. It would be a hard pill to swallow – to readily concede the lost child and not think another moment upon their well being? To draw a curious note about what their life would become and if they could live as freely as they might have if they were still in your care? For me, this was an interesting place to begin the novel as it points towards her emotional outlook and what was weighing most on her mind vs where her tribe wanted her to direct her thoughts as she was seen as a bit of a leader in their folds.

Life in her village moves in its own sense of seasons – not just the seasons of time but in the rhythm of her people. There is quite a bit of grief in the opening bridge of the novel – from the stack of losses Bear Fat must endure to the leadership she most prove she is capable of as she settles into sorting out how to give her community the best chance at a future where they can have more resources rather than less. It is situation they have been walking through for awhile now – where many times hunger is the key issue of Bear Fat’s people but if they are able to secure a new place to call ‘home’ – perhaps a lot of their issues will start to fade and allow them a chance to live a bit easier.

You had to smile when you saw the name of Bear Fat’s daughters: Corn, Bean and Squash as a timeless way of re-appreciating the crops which yielded the most protection for her people as they were sustainable and would prevent hunger from overtaking her community. I wonder what the daughters first thought when they realised what their names represented?

Most of the story is directed through introspective narrative – rather than being cut into sections of dialogue and narrative world-building; this novel relies a bit more heavily on the narrative side of the ledger. You miss a few things through this style, as rather than feeling close to the characters, you are peering into their lives from the outside; making observations but not making the same kind of emotional bond you would have if you heard their thoughts, overheard their conversations and were stepping through their shoes rather than being ‘told’ everything instead. There are two ways to tell a story and I generally yield to preferring the ‘lived in their soles’ variety than this particular kind of arc of story because it is more distant from the heart of the characters. You get the distinctive overviews but you’re like a drone camera hovering over the village but without the interpersonal feelings you would have if you were walking beside them more directly.

I must admit, I found the time jumps for Wanders Far to be too frequent, as right when you get a footing to ‘settle into’ where the village is right, now, time moves incredibly fast into the near future if not further afield in their lives where you don’t get to see the inbetween bits nearly as much as you hoped. I also thought the rhythm might re-settle a bit to where you could see the conversations between the elders of the community and the young people; to get a better feel for their individual beliefs, their ideals and their overall goals.

Wanders Far is a difficult novel to read from that point of view – at least for me, as your struggling to get to the point where the influence of the author takes a pause and you can just absorb the characters living their lives without being told all the time what they are doing. I’d rather feel as if I am living those hours with them; to hear, see, and listen to what they are doing rather than the narrative feeling a bit too tired up in a neat bow. It is a conflict of style for me – as the Historical narratives which pull me into their folds more readily are the ones where I feel an immediate emotional connection to either the lead or supporting cast of characters.

In this regard, it felt more like a representation of a Non-Fiction story – where the components of the Native American lives are presented by you don’t have that intrapersonal connection you’re seeking to feel and wash over you. I think for me personally – this wasn’t a good fit as a reader as I found myself striving to find something in the content of the novel moreso than I was enjoying my hours spent reading it. I think it would better fit someone who doesn’t mind a quick pace plot where you’re not going to get a lot of character interactions but you are going to be told a story from a removed distance to where you have to fill in the blanks yourself by what is not inclusive.

on the historical writing styling of david fitz-gerald:

In regards to the choices made in how this novel was written – I was slightly on the fence about my thoughts and feelings as I moved into the context of the story, after having interviewed the author. I have had such a hugged close connection with the Laugheed duology as it felt authentically told and realistically maintained the realistic everyday hours of her Native Americans, I never once questioned which century I was visiting nor which people I was reading about because they spoke in the way in which they might have spoken whilst they were alive. There was an authenticity to how Laugheed wrote her Native characters which is why as I moved into seeing Fitz-Gerald’s, the transition was a bit of a rough one for me, as instead of ‘seeing’ what I was used to from Native characters, these characters articulated themselves like you and I; from the 21st Century!

Even in their mannerisms and how their conversations were assembled – everything felt a bit more modern than what I was expecting – the only bit that I appreciated is that they still had the cross-overlays into their culture, the traditions of their people and the hierarchy of whom is in positions of power within their own tribe. Still. Part of me questioned if it might have been a bit better to compose this narrative in the scope of how they might have actually spoken and how they might have communicated with each other – even if you didn’t go as far back as when the story is set but at least a few centuries for arguments sake so it doesn’t feel too contemporary? Which was my main bone of contention.

In direct contrast to the choices in names, as I noted this was mentioned on the interview, I knew going in that sometimes Native Americans have unusual names. I did question the name ‘Bear Fat’ but I also knew that sometimes their names have their own curious beginnings and attributions; therefore, I did not let that pull me out of the context how it wasn’t explained when we first met Bear Fat. The narrative itself is in-progress – where Fitz-Gerald’s characters are already in the throes of their life – living it as we meet them and thereby there isn’t a chance for a traditional back-story arc in the front of the novel.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

Wanders Far blog tour via HFVBTsFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this story contributed to a few of my 2019 reading challenges:

2019 HistFic Reading Challenge banner created by Jorie in Canva.

2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Wanders Far”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of David Fitz-Gerald, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. 2019 New Release Challenge badge provided by unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #HistoricalMondays banner, 2019 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 23 September, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Native American Fiction

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