Monday, October 16, 2006

Where The Broken Heart...

Meyer, Carolyn. 1992. Where The Broken Heart Still Beats: The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker.

Where The Broken Heart Still Beats is a historical fiction novel based on the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, a young girl kidnapped by Comanche raiders from a massacre of their fort shared by nine settler families. The story begins over twenty-five years after her capture when she is captured by Texas Rangers on one of their raids against the Comanches and returned to the white community along with her baby daughter. The book is told from two perspectives: Lucy, a young girl--Cynthia Ann's cousin--and Cynthia Ann herself.

Cynthia Ann (aka Sinty-Ann or Naduah) has forgotten her childhood years--blocked the raid and her capture from her memory--and has thoroughly adopted the ways of her People. She has forgotten the English language, and has only one desire, to return to her People and find her husbands and two grown sons. Forced to live with her Uncle and his family, Cynthia Ann refuses at first to budge. She tries to escape several times unsuccessfully, and she refuses to learn and speak English. But after months of living with her 'family' she is assured that if she tries to fit in with her family, learn English, and learn their culture and faith, that he will help her find her People again and allow her to visit with her family. So relunctantly she begins relearning the ways of the white man.

Lucy has great compassion on Cynthia Ann. She sees her pain and heartache and sympathizes with her loss. She seems not to share her family's deep-set hatred of the Indians and their passion or zeal to see every Indian annihilated. Witnessing these outbursts of her brothers and father disgusts her. She becomes Cynthia Ann's only friend and confidante in many ways. She finally breaks through Cynthia Ann's barrier of distrust and she is allowed close enough to learn and share the memories of her past. Cynthia Ann speaks to her of her past--something she refuses to do with other family members. But both know that Cynthia Ann can never be happy unless she's allowed her freedom to be who she is.

The book is not a complete portrait of the Parker family, it focuses on the Civil War years 1860-1865, but it is excellent in capturing an important time period in Texas history.

The Handbook of Texas Online: Cynthia Ann Parker


Anonymous said...

do you recommend the book?
thanks!!! <3

Anonymous said...

no way its the worst book i ever read. but i was forced to read it by my dumb teacher.