Stealing: A Novel (Hardcover)
This is a creatively crafted story of a child who has lived through Hell! Kit’s Cherokee mother dies when she is 6. Shortly afterwards her father is sent to prison for murder. The “Christian do-gooders” step in and place her in a government boarding school, shoving Christianity down her throat, while denying all parts of her Cherokee cultural heritage, even her name! This school is more like a prison for kids with no voice! How an innocent, God-like child can be ruined by those who rationalize they are doing “God’s work” is alarming, and the acts that are conducted by “people of faith” are evil! I have to believe there is some truth in this 1950’s story of Native American indoctrination! This is a story you must take slowly, very slowly!
— From Mimetic March Staff Picks
Check out the audiobook!
“This powerful novel should join classics like Ernest J. Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Helena Maria Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.”—New York Times Book Review
A gripping, gut-punch of a novel about a Cherokee child removed from her family and sent to a Christian boarding school in the 1950s—an ambitious, eye-opening reckoning of history and small-town prejudices from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble.
Kit Crockett lives on a farm with her grief-stricken, widowed father, tending the garden, fishing in a local stream, and reading Nancy Drew mysteries from the library bookmobile. One day, Kit discovers a mysterious and beautiful woman has moved in just down the road.
Kit and the newcomer, Bella, become friends, and the lonely Kit draws comfort from her. But when a malicious neighbor finds out, Kit suddenly finds herself at the center of a tragic, fatal crime and becomes a ward of the court. Her Cherokee family wants to raise her, but the righteous Christians in town instead send her to a religious boarding school. Kit’s heritage is attacked, and she’s subjected to religious indoctrination and other forms of abuse. But Kit secretly keeps a journal recounting what she remembers—and revealing just what she has forgotten. Over the course of Stealing, she unravels the truth of how she ended up at the school and plots a way out. If only she can make her plan work in time.
In swift, sharp, and stunning prose, Margaret Verble spins a powerful coming-of-age tale and reaffirms her place as an indelible storyteller and chronicler of history.
About the Author
MARGARET VERBLE is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Her first novel, Maud’s Line, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her second novel, Cherokee America, has recently been listed by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year for 2019. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
"Tender and eye-opening…Stealing is a masterclass in storytelling… Verble has harnessed the art of how to shoot straight to the heart of a story, and it is an experience not to be missed.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Frank and fearless, the novel is a portrait of perseverance.” — Christian Science Monitor, 10 Best Books of February
“Stealing packs a major punch… Vivid and immediate, passionate and meticulously researched, Stealing is magnetic and unforgettable, unflinching and searing. Readers of Winter Counts, All Girls and The Nickel Boys will be stunned and stupefied by this courageous, thoughtful account."
“Blistering… Verble’s skillful storytelling does justice to a harrowing chapter of history.” — Publishers Weekly
"Verble tells a memorable and sobering story about injustice, hypocrisy, and resilience. Verble upholds her legacy of indelible Cherokee characters—and weaves a dynamic mystery, too.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“This powerful novel should join classics like Ernest J. Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Helena Maria Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.” — New York Times Book Review
“Captivating, subtly crafted… Beautifully written and paced, Stealing is an invaluable contribution to a crucial — and too often repressed — history that haunts us still.” — Chapter 16 + Nashville Scene
“Verble is an immensely gifted writer…a compelling novel from an author who writes with sensitivity and compassion.” — NPR on When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
“Through a joyful interweaving of pragmatic storytelling and spiritual realism, Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble breathes life into a bygone era…Combining meticulous research, a fresh point-of-view and vivid imagery, Verble’s third novel does what historical fiction does best: folds a compelling story into a snapshot of time before life changed.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution on When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
“In this fun, entertaining and highly informative historical novel, award-winning author Margaret Verble, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, surrounds Two Feathers' story with a concise history of the area and an in-depth look at the social culture and mores of the times… [Verble] will have you believing and cheering...Great fun.” — Florida Times-Union on When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
“Alternatively funny and touching, this novel has a distinctly original and unconventional feel.” — Ms. Magazine on When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
“[An] expansive and well-researched historical work.” — Buzzfeed
“Verble beautifully weaves period details with the cast’s histories, and enthralls with the supernatural elements, which are made as real for the reader as they are for the characters. This lands perfectly.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) on When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
“Fans of Karen Russell will love this spellbinding new story from Pulitzer Prize–finalist Margaret Verble.” — Country Living
“A compelling, haunting read full of history.” — Alma
"This utterly memorable, beautifully written story will linger with readers." — Booklist (starred review)
"An ambitious novel that’s impressive in its scope and concept: Glendale Park Zoo and the 101 are rife with narrative possibility and give the author a chance to examine a fascinating cross section of race and class." — Kirkus Reviews
Effectively deploying her diverse cast of characters, Verble—an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma—captures the complex social interactions of the time. From race relations to social class to working conditions, Verble addresses key issues while spinning her ghost story around the fictionalized employees of a park that actually existed...Readers of general fiction will enjoy. — Library Journal
"A remarkably fresh, beautifully written novel...This is a substantial book, hard to put down." — Worcester Magazine
“Two Feathers Fell from the Sky is a rich and lively novel, steeped in place and history. Verble’s meticulous research and generosity of spirit shine through, lending her characters and their adventures a fullness that lingers.” — Kelli Jo Ford, author of Crooked Hallelujah and winner of the Plimpton Prize
“Verble has given historical fiction lovers a real gift.” — New York Times Book Review
“Margaret Verble is an exceptional storyteller.” — Ron Rash, author of Serena
“[Margaret Verble] gives careful consideration to place, having spent a lot of time on these lands, rivers, and streams, and through direct encounters with all the inhabitants of this place—both people and animals, their natures and behaviors. This is all rich source material that informs her writing.” — National Museum of the American Indian magazine