Rating: 4.5 stars
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One year after the tragic death of his fiancé, Bryce Morton does nothing but go to work and hang around his house. That is until his friends, John and Jerry, talk him into camping on the reservation where John’s family lives and helping teach a computer class while he’s there. A weekend seems to make all the difference. Finally feeling that he can begin moving on with his life, Bryce meets Paytah, owner of the local trading post and resident grump.
Paytah’s disdain for white people is obvious, but something about the man draws Bryce in. When he is asked to do his job from the reservation for a couple weeks so that his friends can spend time with their family, Bryce agrees, if only to see the quiet Native American at the trading post more often. As time passes, Paytah and Bryce build a friendship and then a relationship. Bryce knows that there is something keeping Paytah from letting go and enjoying life, but he doesn’t want to push Paytah for fear of losing him.
When Paytah finally opens up, the news is worse than Bryce expected. Determined to makes things right, Bryce sets out to find a way to help Paytah heal and resolve the ongoing problem without putting Paytah or the tribe in danger.
The Fight Within is the second book in Andrew Grey’s Good Fight series. It’s a story of healing and finding love in unexpected ways. I really liked this book. It was somewhat slow starting, but after the first few chapters it picked up.
We were introduced to Bryce in The Good Fight. He’s a computer geek who works for Jerry along with John. He has a good head on his shoulders and he’s an emotionally strong character. Bryce is a very caring, accepting man. He can see the good in almost everyone. He cares for the Lakota people. He wants to help the tribe as a whole, and all for selfless reasons. He can’t stand to see people suffering or hungry. Just by being himself, he seems to make the world a better place.
This book is written in Bryce’s POV, but Paytah can’t be overlooked. He’s a wonderful character plays a major role in Bryce’s life. Paytah is seen as a quiet, sour-tempered man, but in truth, he was traumatized early in his life and still lives with that shame and terror. Overcoming his painful past is what makes him strong. Moving on from his childhood fears creates strength in Paytah that he has never known, and he credits that to Bryce’s persistence, love and grounding.
This story presents the difficult subject matter of molestation and rape in a way that is realistic and heartbreaking without being vulgar or distateful. It’s the part of the story that held me most captivated because I wanted to see justice for the victims and their families. The best part of that storyline is the healing that came with Paytah getting his secrets into the open. It made the story that much more beautiful.
I really appreciate the history and culture of the Lakota people that is emphasized throughout this story. Grey really brought the Native American hardships, their sense of community, their pride, and so much more to the forefront. This story is a picture of an amazing people and a wonderful culture that many don’t get to see, much less experience.
I really enjoyed this story. It is heart-wrenching but full of hope. It’s a very well written story by one of my favorite authors. I love the realistic feel of this story. It’s one that I could see playing out in real life. It’s a lovely series that I hope to see added to in the future. I highly recommend The Fight Within by Andrew Grey.