Like so many native peoples all over the world, The Athabascans have never really recovered from the intrusion into their society of the "civilizers". Many of the natives have suffered from the problems of alcohol and drug abuse and yet, as a counterpoint to this there is still a very strong, traditional hierarchy of elders within the society who hold immense power and sway over the local natives.
Baubles and Beads is a book focused mainly on the new generations coming through and how they deal with the issues of unemployment, alcohol abuse, discrimination and their relationship to the expectations of the tribal elders.
We meet Della and Munk, two young people at differing ends of the same spectrum, but drawn together by a bond of love. Della is a typical "good girl" who has always allowed others to make her decisions for her and now feels she is being "left on the shelf". Munk, is the child of an alcoholic mother and a father who doesn't even know he exists. He has struggled to survive all his life and resorted to criminal activity to do so when he has to. Now in his twenties, Munk wants one thing; to marry Della, settle down and have a family, but there are always things standing in the way of this young couple.
The story revolves around a luxury lodge, where Della has gone to work for the summer and becomes involved in a tangled mess of secrets relating to a lost USB drive.
I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but suffice it to say, there is plenty of action, plenty of love and lust, to keep any romance addict hooked, plus a lot to learn about the backwoods of Alaska and modern-day Athabascan society.
An excellent read and one I enjoyed a lot. A very solid Four-Stars from this reviewer. I will certainly be seeking out more of the Copper River Romances in the future.