In this futuristic vel, the natural wilderness is disappearing due to human incursion and urbanisation. Small pockets of nature remain and are used for tourist visits and historical interpretations. Television broadcasts pictures, sounds, and smells, and space travel is commonplace. The Yantuck Indians must find a way to preserve the natural environment that survives on their eastern United States reservation and yet participate in a global ecomy. This dilemma creates factions within the tribe: the Yantucks who believe in a more traditional way of life and those who seek to enhance tribal finances by marketing and selling Indian-ness , first through a casi and then a new age movement. Ashneon Quay, a young medicine woman-in-training, is herself caught between two worlds. Growing up with elderly family members, both medicine people, she attends a local college where she studies anthropology. Quay struggles to find a balance between the traditional and the new and identify a path that's right for her. Vividly rendered with strong characters and a dose of magical realism, this invative glimpse of one Indian family trying to maintain tribal culture in the midst of rapid transformation resonates with issues native peoples currently face.
Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, tribal historian for the Mohegan Nation in Connecticut, received the Native American Authors Award for Non-Fiction for her first book, The Lasting of the Mohegans. Her training in Mohegan traditions and spirituality came from her great-aunt, 104-year-old Mohegan Medicine Woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon, and her great-uncle Chief Harold Tantaquidgeon, both of whom began the Tantaquidgeon Indian Museum with their father, John, in 1931, in Uncasville, Connecticut.