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Posted: July 31, 2022

We will hear more from Dolores Redondo

Book Review

By Derryll White

Redondo, Dolores (2019).  The North Face of the Heart.

I have been waiting for more from Dolores Redondo since finishing the fabulous Baztan trilogy.  Somehow I missed her prize-winning ‘All This I Will Give You’ but I will find it.

Redondo is best at pulling out her roots in the Baztan.  She goes deep in the mythology of an earlier time and forges meaning and clarity in the present.  It isn’t always an easy journey.  This is a prequel to Redondo’s Baztan trilogy and fills in Amaia Salazar’s early years and her time in North America with the FBI.

The four volumes are excellent reading, offering an insight into the belief systems of mountain people.  Kootenay readers will hear some echoes of an earlier time in these mountains as well.  The trilogy has already been turned into films and NBC Universal has the rights to turn ‘The North Face of the Heart’ into a television series.  We will hear more from Dolores Redondo.


Excerpts from the novel:

NEW ORLEANS – “Y’all have to understand there’s lots of folks like her, people who aren’t leaving even though they could.  And then there’s others like those who live here.  This is their home, the street, and they got nothing else.  They’ve lived in misery all their lives, and this isn’t going to be any different [Hurricane Katrina].  They’re not going somewhere else; they’re staying right here.  Believe me, they’re ready to protect their homes and families with their own lives, even from somebody claiming he wants to help.”

PLACE – “It’s no use trying to explain it away.  The place where we were born and grew up shapes us forever.  Our origins determine our character and how we see, hear, learn, and draw conclusions.”

WOMANHOOD – She knew the others’ opinion of her, but she didn’t care.  She’d learned long ago that the only unforgiveable errors she’d ever made had come from failing to follow her own convictions.  She was intelligent, which had given her insight into two things early on: first, an institution like the FBI wasn’t particularly willing to mentor a woman, especially an African-American; second, the only way to ever change that was by showing results.

MYTH – “It seems to me that people all over the world have the same hopes and fears and ambitions.  Mankind’s history is the history of our fears.  It stands to reason that we’d all create similar legends to give names to those terrors, to try and control them.  I believe there’s a natural ability burie4d deep in our primal consciousness, that ferrets our connections, maybe not entirely logical ones.  Those connections are hunches, and they’re vital for our survival.  I believe that a gut feeling is far more important in investigation and detection than hard data.”

– Derryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them.  When not reading he writes history for the web at




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