8 Following


Currently reading

Sex on Earth: A Celebration of Animal Reproduction
Jules Howard

Hidden Heritage: The Story of Paul Laroche

Hidden Heritage: The Story of Paul Laroche - Barbara Marshak 1.5 stars

Growing up I was widely exposed to American Indian culture through my mother's love of their history/culture. I have been to an untold number of American Indian events, concerts, monuments, locations of import, you name it. Through this I have learned to appreciate and admire the many American Indian cultures so it comes as no surprise that I still accompany my mother at times to such places even today. A number of events which take place near where I live includes the musical group Brule, which my mother also loves. Brule happens to be the group that Paul LaRoche founded.

Now while I enjoy their music, I cannot say I truly have any interest in the group beyond the music itself. However, my mother does and subsequently shared her copy of Hidden Heritage with me. Due to what felt like familial obligation, I sat down to read Hidden Heritage with essentially no interest whatsoever, especially since there are many much more intriguing American Indian books out there. This lack of interest has in part caused the rating to suffer but the writing itself was its downfall.

The general writing style was unimpressive. I feel as though the book would have been more successful had it been an autobiography rather than a biography. The author stated the obvious or made statements that felt like a lead in which did not lead anywhere, this was rather frustrating. The book was largely boring and contained unnecessary details. I think the basis of the story lacked the girth to survive an entire novel and would have worked best in thorough article form or perhaps in the hands of another author that could flesh things out more.

As the author noted in the back of the book, a family history of more than 100 years was rushed through in a short single chapter. I do not understand WHY the history was so rushed, there seemed to be no obvious reason why it could not have been more thorough. The chapter was also jarring since it essentially comes out of nowhere and leaves you a little baffled as to why the author is now talking about historical events.

But what was perhaps the most disturbing of all was the inclusion of dialogue. A LOT of dialogue. The book would have been nearly a pamphlet had the dialogue been left out (okay not that extreme but it felt that way at times). Dialogue is very much out of place in a biography in my opinion as they are unreliable unless they are quoted from recorded conversations (which was not the case here). The only thing the dialogue did was drastically diminish the credibility of the bio. Also, why the hell were quotes about random things included, like pancakes? This screams filler!

Overall I do not see how the story or the way it was written would compel anyone to have an interest in the LaRoche family or the musical group, which to me equals a failure. I will gladly be returning this one to my mother!