Touches the Sky delves into the timeless theme of clashing cultures that alternately alienate and intrigue. Jan Ellerbroek, an 1890s Dutch settler, is both mesmerized and disturbed by the "ghost dances" of the Lakota Indians he and his wife live among. The Sioux insist they dance for the Messiah who will save them from those who would steal their land, culture, and hearts. But can the same God of Jan's pious people be found in such mystery and frenzy?
Already tense, the atmosphere crackles when a Dutch hired hand is found shot to death. The settlers accuse the Sioux, and fear escalates. But the Sioux insist on their innocence, knowing their honor-and much more-is at stake.
Absorbing as well as profound, this sensitive story probes the making of the West, the depths of humanity, and a God whom the main character admits "can seem as vast and unknown as the prairie."
James Calvin Schaap is a professor of English at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. Christianity Today declared his last novel, Romey's Place, one of the best books of 1999. He has also received five top Evangelical Press Association fiction awards and four Associated Church Press awards.