Review: Solar Storms – Linda Hogan

Solar Storms
Book cover: Angela with closed eyes. She is transparent and there is a nature  background on the same level.

From Pulitzer Prize finalist Linda Hogan, Solar Storms tells the moving, “luminous” (Publishers Weekly) story of Angela Jenson, a troubled Native American girl coming of age in the foster system in Oklahoma, who decides to reunite with her family.

At seventeen, Angela returns to the place where she was raised—a stunning island town that lies at the border of Canada and Minnesota—where she finds that an eager developer is planning a hydroelectric dam that will leave sacred land flooded and abandoned. Joining up with three other concerned residents, Angela fights the project, reconnecting with her ancestral roots as she does so.

Harrowing, lyrical, and boldly incisive, Solar Storms is a powerful examination of the clashes between cultures and traumatic repercussions that have shaped American history.

The author of Solar Storms, Linda Hogan is the Chickasaw Nation’s Writer in Residence. I decided to choose this book as I am not reading enough books by Native American authors and I really need to do better in that aspect. Also, I love reading fiction books that discuss environmental conservation (I have an MSc and BSc in environmental science related subjects). The blurb was also very intriguing and thus I decided to get the book!

It’s #ownvoices for Native American representation. The main character is from a fictional Native American tribe in this book.

This book is slow-paced. It really is. It took me a long time to read the book and it was more of a book to enjoy day by day and not finish in one go. There is so much to delve into and immerse yourself, and it’s more enjoyable if you take your time. I’m not usually a fan of slow-paced books but this one is absolutely worth it.

One of the passages that I really loved what the description of going fishing. It was written in a very magical and beautiful way, describing the different methods that people go fishing and what they mean to Angela.

This book isn’t only about the environmental destruction in America. It is about the many intersecting issues that Native Americans face on their own land. These include putting children in foster care, racism, stealing land, drug abuse, etc. Angela’s great great-grandmother belongs to the Beautiful People tribe. It is a fictitious tribe. A tribe that has been renamed to The Fat-Eaters by European settlers. This is one example that describes the oppression that the Native Americans have to deal with.

There is a romance in this story and I will gladly say that it played a very minor role. It was developing in the background of the story but the focus was always on Angela and how she was reconnecting to her roots.

Beautiful quotes:

“What I liked was that land refused to be shaped by the makers of maps. Land had its own will.”

“Tenderness was not a quality of strength to them. It was unmanly, an act they considered soft and unworthy.

Solar Storms is a beautiful, lyrical story that gives you as a reader a lot to think about. I was very touched by the descriptions of nature and the discussion of the different types of oppression. I enjoyed the slow-paced journey. I recommend this book to all of you.

5 stars

Have you read Solar Storms? What do you think of it?

4 thoughts on “Review: Solar Storms – Linda Hogan

  1. I’m adding this to my TBR list. I like books that include an element of romance but keep it in the background while focusing on other issues.


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