||R.J. Buckley Publishing
Novels by Phil Whitley
In a post-apocalyptic world, a family survives in a cave once occupied by Native Americans who escaped the Trail of Tears. Their descendant, Keechie, taught a young Brian how to survive and the secrets of the natural and spiritual world. It is he who brings his family back to the cave, where he teaches them of Keechie's grandmother, Granny Boo, one of the most powerful medicine women of the Creek Nation.
The terrorist attacks have subsided, the sickness has passed, and the smoke from the firebombs has begun to settle, and the one lesson that everyone learns is that life must go on. In his post Apocalyptic America, Phil Whitley has given us an extraordinary look at a life that is hardscrabble and tough, filled with dangers and obstacles that make it impossible for civilization to go on as it once had. Making the best of a bad situation, survivalist Brian brings his wife Mary and daughter Alex to live in the spirit cave of their ancestors, where they must learn to live life as it was 150 years ago. They grow their own vegetables, kill their own meat, make their own medicine, and learn that the only people they can depend upon are themselves. When they are joined by their friend Maurice, they find that they cannot completely cut themselves off from the world, and that sometimes tough decisions must be made. The hardest decision of all is the one that will send them back into the very heart of the land they have been avoiding, but it is a decision they must make, and one that they will have to learn to live with.
Out of the chaos of a world that has reverted to its basic instincts, Whitley brings us a tale of sacrifice and survival, of challenge and courage, of hardship and hope. With Granny Boo and the Puma Man as teachers, mentors, and role models, Brian and his family learn to cope with anything and everything that the new world throws at them, and learn that with love, strength, and conviction, they can survive whatever comes their way.
You don’t want to miss this book.
E. Don Harpe
Harpe is a novelist, poet, and songwriter who now lives and writes from his home in Georgia. His memoir “The Last of the South Town Rinky Dinks” has become a local success story, and he is currently writing the third in the Harpe series and co-authoring a brand new adventure novel with Phil Whitley.
Granny Boo is scheduled for release in December, 2009 by R.J. Buckley Publishing
The great thundercloud drifted toward the river and continued to produce violent lightning as it went. Then ice began falling from the sky. Ice the size of bird eggs fell upon them as they rushed for the cover of trees. Soon the ground was covered with a thick layer and then the storm passed as suddenly as it had started.
“Did you see him, Apelka? Did you see the Puma Man?” his grandfather asked in a tone of reverence.
“No, Grandfather, I did not see him. But you did?”
“He was in the great cloud that passed over us. He smiled at me, and it was a terrible, yet beautiful smile. He has eaten the souls of the four men who killed our people. I do not envy their fate,” his grandfather said. “Now we must bury our dead and honor them as our tradition requires.”
Apelka took the old man’s shoulders in his hands and looked directly into his eyes. “The children of my children will know of this day, Grandfather, I swear to you. Surely, Echo-Ochee is the most powerful Keeper who has ever lived. You called down the wrath of Kowakatcu upon our enemies.”
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Reader Reviews for "Granny Boo - Legacy of the Puma Man"
|Reviewed by Phil Whitley
|Review bt Andy Lloyd of The Dark Star, writer, artisr and cover artist
Granny Boo is the long-awaited sequel to Phil Whitley's first novel, 'Keechie'. I've been involved in this project personally - Phil asked me to create a painting for the book cover - and I was delighted when he, and his publisher, accepted the artwork that resulted (this photo shows Phil with the original painting). I really enjoyed his first novel, and have been looking forward to this second instalment for years.
I'm very pleased to report that 'Granny Boo' is as good as 'Keechie'. Whitley combines a very realistic, and often tragic history of Native American Indians in 19th Century Georgia, with a touching and poignant tale of survival in a post-apocalyptic U.S.
The country has succumbed to various terrorist atrocities that have destroyed the infrastructure holding civilisation together. In the resulting power vacuum, the West has once again become Wild. Brian and his family seek refuge in a secretly located cave, once inhabited by a Native American Indian woman decades before whom Brian had got to know very well in his youth, (the story related in 'Keechie'). The family must rely upon the survival skills he has acquired and remain hidden until the troubles die down. They become extremely wary of strangers, and with good reason.
The cities, in the surrounding State, descend into chaos, and the countryside becomes the hunting ground for malicious criminals. It is hard for anyone to know who to trust anymore, as resources become increasingly scarce, and law enforcement disappears.
To Brian's delight, his wife and daughter embrace the old Indian ways. As an insular unit they thrive through adversity - in stark contrast to the collapsing civilised world around them. They are soon joined by an old friend of Brian's - a black man equally comfortable with leaving his old life behind. Their adjustment to a more rugged, hunter/gatherer existence is supported, and given more relevance, by the stories of Keechie, and her ancestors before her. In particular, the family discover enchanting stories about Granny Boo, Keechie's maternal grandmother. Both were Spirit Singers who maintained a old ways through times of increasing difficulty.
In the 19th century, Granny Boo's tribe faced extermination by the white settlers, and spent their lives in seclusion in the creek valley now inhabited by Brian and his family. In turn, his present day family take inspiration from the stories in Keechie's journals, and learn how to use the old ways to ensure their own survival. Their journey takes on an increasingly spiritual element as the ancestor spirits, and the powerful, protective Puma Man spirit, make their presence felt.
This book details the heart-warming story of life in the secluded valley, and the many resources Brian, Mary, Alex and Maurice call upon from ancient lore. The narrative is punctuated by a series of short stories relating to times gone by. Many of these charter the life of Granny Boo as a young woman as she finds love, and perseveres through tragedy. Other stories are myths from the indigenous peoples of the area which have survived to the present day. All are fascinating, and successfully transport the reader to a different time and culture.
There is a running theme of empathy with the indigenous peoples of Georgia throughout. In a way, this reflects other work emerging from America at the moment, like Avatar. The genocide of the Indians seems to rest heavily upon the American psyche at the present time. There is also a palpable feeling of the need to re-engage with nature.
Finally, I was struck with how the book essentially honours the preceding generations of Indians who lived in the area. This reflects the practices of the Indians themselves, and seems rather apt. The book honours the memories of fictional characters whose lives seem very real. It crescendos on a spiritual level as Brian's family discover that their connection with history runs deeper than they could possibly have imagined.
'Granny Boo' is an inspiring novel. It will appeal to anyone interested in the cultures of Native American indians, and to anyone who loves listening to a good story around a campfire.