Thank you E. for the wonderful recommendation.

Stone and Silt - Harvey Chute


(from Goodreads)

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love.


My thoughts:

This is a lovely book meant for young adults, but I think it is enjoyable for adults too. There is much to this novel. The story involves subjects like racism, bullying, interracial marriage, and native Indian culture. There is mystery, murder, illness, and budding love.



Nikaia, who is the child of a Welshman and a native American mother, is the victim to bullying due to her interracial heritage. The name the other children call her stings every time she hears it, Half-breed. Another boy, Lee Sim, is also a child who is picked on do to ethnicity, Chinaman. There is an obvious budding affection between the two throughout the story.


This story is set in the later half of the eighteenth century during the gold rush. The author has obviously done he research on the time period in which the story is set.


The author's writing is top notch and at times this story reminds me of a couple of classic novels: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Little House on the Prairie books, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


The way I came across this book is through a blog post by a friend. I never intended to finish this as quickly as I did, or to enjoy it as much as I did. I will admit, the blog post hit a spot with me. I watched both my mother and my grandmother lose their battle with cancer. My mother's fight lasted for a lengthy amount of time, ten years, my grandmother only a few short weeks. They both took their last breaths in a Hospice center. I lost both them within the last four years.


I not only give this book a high recommendation, but I gushed about it to my daughter's seventh grade teacher today.