Rosa Rendón is the headstrong yet loyal daughter of a landed Black family in turn of the 19th century in Trinidad. She ends up married to a Black Crow chief near the Bighorn Mountains, and has an inquisitive son who, at the edge of adulthood, is faltering, untethered from his Apsáalooke identity. Her subsequent journey into her past is both her son’s salvation and the reader’s delight. As majestic and adventurous as it is emotional and deeply rooted to family, I loved every moment of being immersed in this novel.
In Trinidad, in 1796, teenage Rosa Rendon quietly but purposefully rebels against typical female roles and behavior. Bright, competitive, and opinionated, Rosa sees no reason she should learn to cook and keep house-it is obvious her talents lie in running the farm she expects to be her birthright, despite her two older siblings. But as her homeland goes from Spanish to British rule, it becomes increasingly unclear whether its free black property owners-Rosa's family among them-will be allowed to keep their assets, their land, and ultimately, their freedom. By 1830, Rosa is living among the Crow Nation in Bighorn, Wyoming, with her husband, Edward Rose and family. Her son Victor has reached the age where he should seek his vision and become a man. But his path is blocked by secrets Rosa has kept hidden from him. So Rosa sets out to take him on a journey to where his story began and, in turn, retraces her own roots, those of a girl who forged her own way from the middle of the ocean to the grassy hills of a far-away land.