connections by review

Connections: Mary Lou Gediman


Connections link us to both the past and the present as author Mary Lou Gediman takes the reader inside the world of Native American Indian Pontiac Parker as he is about to marry his true love Maggie. We are told of the history of their pasts, the lives before meeting and how they met as we go on a hunt that would cause them to question more than just their union. The number 7 is sacred, holy and powerful to Pontiac as he relates his life’s experiences to this number. Everything has its own meaning as Maggie and Pontiac are about to become one the Shaman will guide the wedding congregation and the reader through the 7 step ceremonial ritual. Each step of the way filled with its own unique themes and strong connections to that number. Each ending with the same phrase: “May we continue to be blessed by our creator.” As the couple presents each other with their special wedding gift, Pontiac a handmade basket his mother made and Maggie a poem someone else has a different kind of message for the couple that will change everything and create a chain of events that will send them searching for his past, a grave with hidden meanings and the hope of finding out who is behind it before it’s too late. With Maggie’s daughter and boyfriend at their side the wedding takes place and the reception is about to begin when the couple approaches their soon to be united home and find something tacked to the railing on the front porch. A note with seven numbers and the words Dropped Feather on it. Just what this means has not been revealed as Maggie, Pontiac, Abbie and Dick sit down to think about the hidden meaning but then Pontiac sees the person that might have left the clue. With Dick in his new super fast car they chase the sender and winds up finding another clue but this time it deals with a Happy Meal in McDonalds. But, there is much more as a strange and seemingly annoying yet smart neighbor might have the answers they need but will they finally listen to Matilda? The final clue is frightening dealing with a buried treasure and getting the small fry to find it. When speaking with Matilda even though Maggie is dead set against it they learn the meaning of the words Drop Feather and the other clues. Learning more about Pontiac’s mother she relates her skill as a healer and the reader connects the past with the present as we learn about a potion that his mother created that cured people of serious illnesses and might be related to why this person is sending the clues. Life cut short but whose from clue number 2 and dropped feather meaning life’s journey but whose life is in danger? Added in is clue four that refers to DNA. But, when they leave a note for the person sending these messages what Pontiac learns will definitely surprise the reader as he sees the person, understands his reasoning and learns more about one member of the group hoping to keep it from the rest. Just who cannot be trusted and why?


As the reader learns more about this mysterious sender we learn about his connection to Pontiac, the reason why he contacted him and the urgency of find what is needed to save his life. But, will Pontiac be able to comply by his wishes and what exactly did he tell him when they were alone. With the information on tape and Maggie the only person allowed to hear what was said can they transcribe the information and get what is needed in time? Would you dig up the grave of your parents to save the life of a relative you just met? How far would you go to help someone? His disease: Seven Syndrome how deadly remains to be revealed. Just what will they do you will have to learn and who can be trusted is hard to say at this point as they go to find the cure and learn more about his mother’s reasons for taking the secret of how to heal this illness literally to her grave.

When Abbie learns the truth about someone close to her will she believe her mother and Pontiac? Who was behind the scam to get the cure? Why did the Center for Hereditary Disease Research link on to this disease and how did they learn about Pontiac’s mother? Who was their connection to getting it? What would the payoff be? To truly understand the disease and its causes you have to read what Kanti, Pontiac’s nephew and the sender of the messages is described on pages 145-150. The final plan is ingenious and where it takes them you will have to read for yourself as you learn more about Pontiac’s family, understanding of differences and the hope of helping someone you hardly know. Connections are powerful and family ties often bind people just because of their kinship but what about Abbie when she learns the truth about someone she cares about? What will she do?

▪                To explain this illness further understand how it is detailed and described on Wikipedia: Chromosome 7 is one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans. People normally have two copies of this chromosome. Chromosome 7 spans more than 158 million base pairs (the building material of DNA) and represents between 5 and 5.5 percent of the total DNA in cells. Identifying genes on each chromosome is an active area of genetic research. Because researchers use different approaches to predict the number of genes on each chromosome, the estimated number of genes varies. Chromosome 7 is likely to contain between 1,000 and 1,400 genes. It also contains the Homeobox A gene cluster. Williams syndrome is caused by the deletion of genetic material from a portion of the long (q) arm of chromosome 7. The deleted region, which is located at position 11.23 (written as 7q11.23), is designated as the Williams syndrome critical region. This region includes more than 20 genes, and researchers believe that the characteristic features of Williams syndrome are probably related to the loss of multiple genes in this region. While a few of the specific genes related to Williams syndrome have been identified, the relationship between most of the genes in the deleted region and the signs and symptoms of Williams syndrome is unknown. Other changes in the number or structure of chromosome 7 can cause delayed growth and development, mental disorder, characteristic facial features, skeletal abnormalities, delayed speech, and other medical problems. These changes include an extra copy of part of chromosome 7 in each cell (partial trisomy 7) or a missing segment of the chromosome in each cell (partial monosomy 7). In some cases, several DNA building blocks (nucleotides) are deleted or duplicated in part of chromosome 7. A circular structure called ring chromosome 7 is also possible. A ring chromosome occurs when both ends of a broken chromosome are reunited. As you learn read this information you can tell the gravity of the disease and why Pontiac and Maggie would do anything to help more than one family member. The scene at the cemetery will definitely surprise everyone including Pontiac and Maggie. Just who else shows up and why you won’t believe as a secret is revealed and truths are admitted. What about the cure and the document that is buried with his mother?

An ending that will truly define the word connections and let the reader understand the meaning of the words Dropped Feathers and maybe the next time you see one on the ground you will pick it up and allow it to continue its journey. In life we all need someone to help us when things go wrong and as they say pick us up from time to time. Just what happens that connects everyone together and what will happen to the cure and just where was it hiding in plain sight? Connections: Where would we be without them! Author Mary Lou Gediman provides the research into the illness and she allows the reader to truly understand the meaning of love, understanding, traditions and the meaning behind the Number 7. This is one book that will surprise the reader from start to finish and one that is a definite must read. Meet Pontiac and Maggie and you will definitely find something in each character that you can identify with and learn as Abbie does that trust or distrust comes at a high price. But, you have to love Matilda to find out why read this interesting and outstanding novel.

Fran Lewis: reviewer









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