Ouray’s Peak is a very satisfying coming-of-age story, with an exciting twist — the protagonist, Kristin Tabor, is on an inward (and outward) journey to find herself, but the herself she seeks is destined to be, like her mother, an Indian shaman/healer.
The novel begins with a heartbreaking conflict. Kristin’s mother disappears and what has been a stable, supporting, insular family becomes an uneasy triad of alcoholic father, older brother striving to maintain stability, and confused teen-aged girl, all abandoned. Kristin’s quest to find her missing mother takes her far away physically and spiritually, as she enters a world she scarcely imagined.
Once I picked this book up I kept reading until I finished, and I wanted it to go on. Podgorski shows uncommon sensitivity for issues the novel raises, and the writing skill to translate that sensitivity into compelling narrative.