Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nightway by Janet Daily

Title: Nightway
Author: Janet Daily
ISBN: 0671624873
publisher: Pocket Books/1981
Pages: 361

Among contemporary romance writers, I like to read Janet Daily. Her descriptions of places and cultures are rather well done. Her character building too is good. Most of her books hold interest.

I picked up Nightway, dirt cheap from a pavement book bazaar. This book tells us about the ancient ways of Arizona's Navaho Nation to the new ranch wealth of the great southwest. This is about JB Faulkner and his two warring sons, Chad and Hawk who fight for their rights and for one woman's love.

Hawk is half Navaho and half white. When his mother and sister die, his father JB Faulkner gets him to his estate and asks Rawlins, his foreman to look after him. Although every one is aware, that Hawk is Faulkner’s son but JB does not acknowledge him. The boy is fascinated with his father’s wife, Katheryn. His father sends him to the best of schools and colleges. Just before his degree, hawk quits and comes back as he has no other ambition than the land. Although sometimes confused by his dual heritage, Hawk takes strength from within himself to become his own man after Carol, Rawlins daughter accuses him of rape when they found together by her father. He feels betrayed, as he is not good enough to marry her being the illegitimate son. Carol chooses Hawk's half-brother, Chad, and a life of comfort and wealth. Initially bitter, Hawk learns to live alone with no one on his side. Not even his father.

First half of the book is about Hawk, his desperate need to belong. He is not accepted by Whites or by Navaho as their own. We glimpse his deep hurt and loneliness, which he hides from everyone. He learns to control his feelings. Only in the second half, Lanna Marshall enters his life under unusual circumstances. Lanna, who had befriended JB just days before his death, is a beneficiary in his will. She is tormented by her attraction for both the brothers and knows her decision must be weighed against her passion for the dark, quiet half-breed who hungers for the comfort she so desperately wants to give.

I will not call this book a romance in the strictest sense. However, it made a nice change from heavy reading. When I am in the midst of marking exam papers, I prefer light reading. This qualifies as one.