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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Letters from Wupatki by Courtney Reeder Jones, edited by Lisa Rappoport

We are on our winter trip to the Southwest and have been to Sunset Crater and Wupatki,north of Flagstaff, on our way to Tuba City,Kayenta and Monument Valley. I purchased this book at Wupatki National Monument. These are letters written by the wife of the second custodian of the Monument to friends and family during the "40's.  While it was interesting to read about the roads and surrounding area that I'd just seen, I was disappointed not to have a more in depth description of the Navajos with whom Corky and Davy lived. Actually, most of the letters are rather lacking in full depth--but they have been severely edited by Corky herself, I suspect, and further edited by Lisa Rappoport in order to fulfill her stated objective:" to convey the quality of Courtney's daily life in this unique situation." The unique situation being life in one of the ruins, Wupatki, found on the Monument. All this editing has created a rather unfullfilling reading experience. Everything is rather two dimensional and leads to lots of unanswered questions.

If you are looking for comparative descriptions of the past and present in this area--this book is perfect. If you want any kind of understanding of the humans involved in the story, I'd give this book a pass.

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