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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sins of Our Fathers by Shawn Lawrence Otto

Sins of Our Fathers by Shawn Lawrence Otto returns me to Minnesota and a different encounter Indians on a different level. This time a banker, JW, runs into all sorts of trouble in life and work. Personal loss, separation/divorce, alienation from family and all loss of any moral compass at work, as a banker is what drives JW into the casinos. Bankers already have a skewed compass and his problems make it worse. In addition to family loss, he is now being evicted and losing all services in his lousy apartment. As bankers in this area are trying to discover a new way to make money in a faltering economy, he becomes good at tapping the native Casinos and community to dig himself out of this hole. When a man is down and out like this, he is an easy mark for another who wants and needs someone like JW to do some nasty business. Another moral conundrum, this time for a banker, in deep yogurt, involved with those Indian casinos and trying to get out from under his personal problems and his evil boss. His conundrum: he must throw another man under the bus to save his own worthless life. But there is a problem: the victim’s young son. Not a moral conundrum, instead a maze in which JW must find his way out without hurting anyone except maybe his evil boss and save the day with a correct moral decision and a few well played actions. A climactic moment occurs when Carol, JW’s estranged wife, emerges from church, a place of conflict for the two because of the moral authority Pastor Rick didn’t lord over JW.  As part of JW’s recover from gambling is his admission and following The Big Book for the steps to recovering from gambling. Oh it’s so complicated for JW: his extorting boss, his exiting wife, all the community, Johnny Eagle seeming to crush JW in his new home on the rez, an old dilapidated trailer. This is the bottom.
Rising from the bottom isn’t easy. Just as JW begins to get up outside forces come along and knock him down again. Sometimes he does it to himself.  The gang though is the way to go not alone. JW has solved his moral conundrum his way.

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