I honestly had no idea of what to think of Running Barefoot when I first began reading it. I don’t feel the description of the book truly lends an accurate description of the story. Yet from the first few pages, I was hooked. I think, primarily, I love this story because it rings true with me. I also lost my mother, although I was not as young as Josie was in the story, and I also dealt with the tragedy in the exact way our heroin did – by taking care of everyone and everything else. I am also Native American, and although I am not Navajo, I am familiar with many of the stories used in this book. As far as I can tell, Amy Harmon did an excellent retelling. While I definitely sympathized with Josie, I also found I had some things in common with Samuel. Nothing can entrap me in a book better than feeling a deep understanding of the characters.
It wasn’t only these odd similarities, either. Amy Harmon is a very gifted storyteller. The way she writes is relaxed, yet educated. Although she used “big words” to get her point across, I never faltered or trudged through the story. There was an easy flow that came with the storyline – not too much excitement, not too much downtime, no intentionally exaggerated vocabulary, and always something keeping the reader interested in the story.
Admittedly, I have not felt like reading in quite some time. This book pulled me out of my book slump, and I am more than ready to dive into the next story. Thank you, Amy Harmon, for an amazingly told, eloquently written, truly relate-able story. I would recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a light read (I read it in just about 24 hours), a good coming of age story, or anyone interested in: small town fiction, Native American fiction, or stories of loss and rebirth.
Categories: Book Reviews