Jill Marie Landis
Steeple Hill, Jul 2008, $6.99
In 1873 Texas the Bluecoats came and killed her companions; she expected and wished to die with her Comanche, but instead they took her with them. Eyes-in-the-Sky anticipates multiple rapes, but knows she can do little to prevent it. Shockingly the soldiers leave her with Hattie Ellenberg and her adult son Joe. They name her Deborah, but the biggest stunner is seeing her self in a mirror; she was not Comanche, but instead white like her hosts.
Hattie opens herself up to the confused young woman who she treats like her daughter. However, Deborah knows only one life and wants to return to it. Joe, who has suffered anguish and heartbreak starting with the deaths of his father and sister, admires her courage and spunk. Still, unlike his mom who turned to the Lord for solace following the killings, Joe remains bitter and angry blaming God until now; somehow the newcomer he did not want in their home has begun to melt the ice frozen around his heart. As they fall in love, which confuses her further as she is unsure what world is hers; Deborah’s white family from the east comes for their cousin Rebekiah.
Although the basic premise of Eyes-in-the-Sky’s background has been done numerous times before, Jill Marie Landis provides a fresh read due to the heroine’s reactions to herself, the Ellenbergs, her white family, and her former tribesmen. For instance to survive amongst the Comanche she repressed her previous memories; thus she makes the tale work as a strong Reconstruction Era tale in which everyone needs to feel they belong somewhere preferably with those who they share love.