I have been waiting for the sequel to Jake Georgeís debut novel, Grandfatherís Song, to appear. George
finished it last year, and it came out in the fall, but it wasnít until a month ago that I got my hands on a
review copy. It was well worth the wait. A New Dawn (In an Old World) tells what happens after a Native
American rapture occurs and people who have followed the old ways are plucked from this reality and returned to
the Old World, the place from which many native traditions tell that modern humans came into the world we know.
Here the Great Spirit needs people to cull the animal herds in the old ways so that their numbers donít overrun
the land and spoil that world as humans had done in the present day world.
The people who come are scattered all over this new world. Some are in places similar to their homelands. The
Lenape (the Delaware) are in wooded grasslands where they can grow corn and hunt animals that they know about.
Others like the Pee Dee appear in a pristine version of their home state of South Carolina. However, there are
others who turn up in places they did not know like a few Sioux who appear at the Lenape site.
The book takes the reader through the first winter the people experience. They scramble to prepare for life
outdoors in the cold by building shelters, tanning hides, and drying meat. Since they came in the fall, they have
no real crops to put by except what they could gather. The people are using skills they had learned from elders as
children but never have had to rely on for their very survival. They are helped by Keepers, spiritual beings who
take on attributes of a totem animal and a human being. Soon, many of the people are finding they have spiritual
gifts they did not know they had.
Into this world, however, come the same conflicts that have plagued the Above World, the world these people
came from. There is jealousy, revenge, hatred, and murder. How the people deal with these conflicts is the basis
of this book and revolves on the hope that the people in the Old World can be different.
I enjoyed seeing how the people lived and how their culture dealt with marriage and other life events. But I
was most struck by how George was creating new myths. The people who came to the Old World did so by believing
many creation stories and by having interactions with Keepers in visions. Now, the people were interacting with
Keepers almost on a daily basis and their own exploits would soon be the stuff of legend and spiritual storytelling.
As this book ends, I didnít want to leave the people of the Old World. We all can benefit from spiritual
storytelling such as this. Iím hoping that there will be a book three to come. Bravo!