If there’s something to be said about Lakota Woman is that it’s a story so well told that it becomes a life experience for the reader. There is not a moment in the reading that you didn’t feel what she was recounting, be it repulsion, empathy, disgust, desire, or even hope. This book, if anything, is an astonishing piece of art. It captivates you from the very first sentence, and leaves you stapled into the pages throughout the entire story. Mary Crow Dog’s choppy english makes the reader feel as if someone were actually narrating the happenings, and even makes you feel as if it were your own story. The content of her story leaves one speechless and full of yearning. Her life is simply unbelievable. As I went about reading it, I felt ashamed to be white, yet it still allowed me to have hope and to embrace my ancestry, no matter how painful and cruel it might have been.
Lakota Woman makes you go through the pain of being stripped from your identity; of losing everything, from your family to your traditions to your sense of security, and trying to find someplace to belong to. It’s about the lengths people go to to feel part of a community and to get rid of everything that they have bottled up inside. It’s about desperately seeking for something that will never be restored, and of making the best of the worst of situations. Most importantly, it’s about moving forward. In this novel, Mary Crow Dog relates vividly the extraordinary human ability of adaptation and of the afflictions of living under the most intolerable circumstances.