I found this book to be quite calming and soothing. I’m not entirely sure why, but it brought a sense of comfort to me.
This story follows a boy named Skylar. His dad’s been missing so he contacts the police and eventually he gets sent to an Indian Reservation under the care of his grandmother. Skylar is mute due to a tragic incident he suffered at a young age, where his mother was murdered. Skylar’s father is Shoshone, while his mother is caucasian, and Skylar resembles his mother more than his father. He’s caught in the middle of a culture he knows very little of, but he soon learns to become a part of his community.
To me, Gives Light was a challenging book. It challenged me to consider Skylar’s situation, having known his mother’s killer, and then meeting his son. Immediately I sensed an issue. A really big issue. How can you befriend this boy? He’s the son of your mother’s killer. Yes, but what does that mean? By default does that make him guilty as well? But this situation could easily be symbolic of much larger issues. Some cultures form an automatic hatred, blaming an entire culture because their ancestors hurt their ancestors. It seems reasonable, right? Normal even. To carry on that hatred from generation to generation.
There’s so much to think about, to consider, when it comes to this story. Skylar and Rafael had the best friendship/romance I have read about. Although it could have been complicated, it wasn’t. It was easy to read about, to digest. They were just two boys who had accepted each other, not for their appearances or ancestors or backgrounds, but for their souls. Maybe I sound like a sap, but that’s what it felt to me.
I will never understand the pain of many Native Americans that live with the constant tragedy of their past. Guilty consciences can only repair so much. But I really think that there is room for acceptance. In all of us. Not just regarding this story, but real life issues. We are so quick to hate. Hate comes so easily. There is more to a person than their ethnicity, their race, their parents. We are born into these things. What matters is who we choose to be.