People of the Whale

People of the Whale

A Novel

Book - 2008
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Raised in a remote seaside village, Thomas Witka Just marries Ruth, his beloved since infancy. But an ill-fated decision to fight in Vietnam changes his life forever: cut off from his Native American community, he fathers a child with another woman. When he returns home a hero, he finds his tribe in conflict over the decision to hunt a whale, both a symbol of spirituality and rebirth and a means of survival. In the end, he reconciles his two existences, only to see tragedy befall the son he left behind.
Published: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393064575
Branch Call Number: F HOG
Characteristics: 303 p. ;,22 cm.


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Aug 18, 2016

A fine, slowly paced work of fiction. The author skillfully interweaves the complex life of a Vietnam veteran with his tribal identity as a Native American. Within this narrative is also a story about his adopted family
while in Vietnam. A novel of coming home, of poignance,
of loss and learning to love again. Spiritual truth, too,
from a Native American tradition that seeks to recover itself in some of the related characters. Beautiful book.

Feb 26, 2010

So well written with a capturing plot! I felt the most sympathy and admiration for Lin, and she was definitely my favourite character, although not a major one.


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