Friday, December 30, 2011

Island's End by Padma Venkatraman

Uido lives on an isolated island with the forty families who make up her tribe. She has dreams of visiting the Otherworld and talking to the goddess who lives there but she has only shared those dreams with her good friend Danna and the tribe's spiritual leader. She is honored and surprised when she is chosen to become the next spiritual leader for her tribe and sets off for months of difficult training. While most of her tribe is happy and accepting of Uido's new role, her older brother is jealous and skeptical. Uido's decisions are questioned further because she does not welcome the strangers who visit their island bearing gifts that seem helpful. Although she feels that she is right to be distrustful of the strangers, she finds that she has to rely on them when her younger brother falls sick and his spirit wanders over the ocean to the strangers' land. This story was inspired by real life tribes who are living in a primitive way even today. The author drew on the stories she heard of how several of these tribes knew about the tsunami that devastated civilized countries on the Indian Ocean.

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