You Never Can Tell
You Never Can Tell is a thoroughly researched and well-written story, as you would expect from Kathleen Eagle. Unfortunately, I felt shortchanged by the human aspects of the story and let down by a lack of romance conveyed. Eagle has been moving away from genre romance for some time now and this book continues that movement.
Kole Kills Krow is somewhat of a legend, a Lakota man who became a public figure in fighting for the rights of Native Americans. When his public beliefs and activism lead to the deaths of his wife and baby, the devastated Kole went into seclusion on a reservation in Minnesota.
Heather Reardon is an aspiring writer motivated a passionate interest in Kole Kills Krow and ambition to tell his story. She feels that this is the story that will bring her credibility as a journalist. She tracks Kole down on a reservation in Minnesota hoping that he will be a willing participant. Kole is reluctant to talk to herat first,but Heather tenaciously pursues him. It is not long before they are mixing business with pleasure. Finally, she persuades him to go out to California for a protest, and to take hold of the reins of his life again.
Heather and Kole get involved with each other pretty early in the story. The understanding in the beginning is that it is only temporary, but they become more attached as the trip goes on. They both worry, Heather about her objectivity, Kole about the cultural differences between them. To my mind, the romance is secondary to the plot about Kole’s reemergence into activism and politics.
Kole’s larger then life persona also takes over the story, leaving Heather in the background. Despite the fact that she is portrayed as a strong, self-assured, and opinonataed woman, she never really has a presence in the book, so while it was easy to see why she would be attracted to Kole, it was difficult to see his attraction to her.
While there was a lot going on in the story, and the plight of the Lakota’s was very intriging, the plot itself also had some slow spots in the travel portion. I usually enjoy a road romance, but I didn’t feel the trip added anything to the plot or helped me become engaged with this couple . And I felt that the reunion with Kole’s daughter, one of the most memorable and poignant scenes in the book, didn’t get the full attention it deserved.
If you enjoy a story heavy on politics this is a good bet for you, but those seeking a strong romance and interpersonal relationships should seek out something else.