Read Winona's Web: A Novel of Discovery by Priscilla Cogan Online


To the surprise of her family, Winona Pathfinder, an elderly Lakota Sioux medicine woman, announces she intends to die in two months. For counseling, Winona is referred to psychologist Dr. Meggie O'Connor--Caucasian, middle-aged, and divorced. A reluctant client, the feisty Winona decides to turn the tables and teach Dr. O'Connor a thing or two about life, while steadfastlTo the surprise of her family, Winona Pathfinder, an elderly Lakota Sioux medicine woman, announces she intends to die in two months. For counseling, Winona is referred to psychologist Dr. Meggie O'Connor--Caucasian, middle-aged, and divorced. A reluctant client, the feisty Winona decides to turn the tables and teach Dr. O'Connor a thing or two about life, while steadfastly refusing to renounce her plans to die.As fall turns to winter on the scenic Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan, Winona casts her web around the doctor. Ever-dubious, Meggie O'Connor sees her professional methods slowly crumble before the earthy humor and soaring spirit of her new teacher. Who is healing whom? Can the doctor convince Winona to step back from the gates to the spirit world?As Meggie's eyes open, she also rediscovers the pull of romance, involving her with two intriguing Native American men. Strange visions begin to appear, and Meggie faces a battle of wills with her stubborn patient armed with a prayer pipe, a strong heart, and the conviction that she is about to "cross over."Graceful and powerful, the story is deeply rooted in traditional Lakota teachings. Winona's Web will delight you and touch your heart with its message of hope and prayer, love and loss, and learning to listen to the web of the world....

Title : Winona's Web: A Novel of Discovery
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385490481
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 279 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Winona's Web: A Novel of Discovery Reviews

  • Abbi
    2019-04-06 13:57

    given to me in high school by my favorite english teacher & debate coach, this book proved to be the coming-of-age story i needed. it was not the story of a cliche, troubled teenager, but instead, of a woman whose career and family are not what she envisioned them to be. it's set in the area in which i grew up and focuses on a lot of traditional Lakota teachings. a book to be added to the canon? no. but a beautiful story, wonderfully written, that encourages you to drink in the surroundings and spirits you may skim over in your daily life.

  • K
    2019-04-10 11:00

    Eh. I found this book kind of clicheed, and hard to keep picking up after a while. The main character, Meggie, is a recently divorced psychologist who has relocated to a small town in northern Michigan. Her new client, Winona, is a sixty-something Native American woman who has informed her family that she is to die in two months, although she is in good health. Concerned about Winona's apparent suicidality, her daughter Lucy shleps her to Meggie's office, beginning a patient-therapist relationship where it rapidly becomes unclear exactly who the healer is.As a beginning psychologist, I was excited to read a novel about a patient and therapist, particularly one where the patient was a challenging one. Overall, though, the novel disappointed me. Winona's frequent digressions into Native American wisdom sounded like recycled Zen claptrap from other novels (you know, the ones where the derailed main character meets some wise, sage-like character whose sound bytes conveniently return him to a more fulfilling and productive life path) and it didn't take me long to get to the point where I was automatically skimming them in the interest of moving forward in the story. It was apparent to me, especially given the author's background (a psychologist who's also a sweat-lodge practitioner and teacher of workshops on Native American multiculturalism, married to a Cherokee), that this "novel of discovery" (that subtitle in itself should have been a tip-off -- since when is "novel of discovery" an actual sub-genre? Aren't most novels about some kind of discovery?) was meant to be a paean to Native American culture. Hey -- I have nothing against Native American culture, but I do have something against agenda-driven novels. Whether the novel's agenda is to praise or condemn, the results are the same -- clicheed, predictable plot, flat characters, mediocre writing at best. Anyway, my harsh review notwithstanding, I do want to express my gratitude to Mintzi who left this book here for me to read. Even if I didn't enjoy the book itself, I genuinely appreciate it when people who visit bring me reading material which is so hard to come by here.

  • Courtney
    2019-04-21 15:20

    Really 3.5 stars. Read this because it was one of my dad's favorites. I can see why. It is fun, interesting, sincere. Native American culture fills the story and I loved that aspect of the novel. Cogan begins each chapter with epigraphs from great writers, which were fun to read. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, but overall a quick, enjoyable read.

  • Janet Eshenroder
    2019-03-23 17:20

    An excellent book for anyone on a spiritual path, or for those interested in Native American beliefs. Because Winona is carefully teaching the psychologist (tasked with keeping the grandmother from ending her life) a different way of approaching life's cycle and how to heal the soul, the reader is gently exposed to new ways of finding one's own center, and a woman's inner power.

  • Wayne Walker
    2019-04-08 13:05

    Dr. Meggie O'Connor is an almost forty-year-old, recently divorced, feminist psychologist who quits a thriving New York City practice and retreats to Chrysalis, her late grandmother’s estate on the rural, scenic Leelanau Peninsula along Lake Michigan, where she spent many happy summer vacations as a child. It is near the village of Suttons Bay, and she joins the small town practice of her friend Dr. Beverly Patterson. One of her first clients is Winona Pathfinder, a feisty 69-year-old Lakota medicine woman who has jolted her family with the declaration that she is going to die in two months, although she is neither sick nor suicidal. While Meggie struggles to use all her professional skills to keep Winona alive, Winona begins to introduce Meggie to Native American ways.Meanwhile, Meggie meets Winona’s nephew Hawk and another Native American man named Slade, who is recommended to replace the retired farmer, Olf Nielson who had been hired by her parents to look after Chrysalis, when Olf becomes ill. Meggie begins to find both men very attractive. She must also deal with visits by her parents and her ex-husband and Bev’s disastrous relationship with a male friend named Colton. What will happen to Winona? And will Meggie find romance with either Hawk or Slade? This book is a well-told tale, but be forewarned that it comes from a basically pagan, i.e., Native American, worldview. I would normally have no interest in anything like this, but I found it in my father’s library after his death, and since it was a novel with an interesting-sounding premise, I decided to read it. However, I must first tell you about my father. He became a Christian as a young man, but when we moved from the little country congregation where we had attended to the slightly larger congregation in town, there was something that he didn’t like about it and quit going. Eventually, he became interested in “alternative forms of spirituality.” One would not consider him “New Age,” and he was definitely not a Wiccan, but he was what I would call a “neo-pantheist.” So I was not surprised to find a book like this among his effects. Author Priscilla Cogan is a psychologist of Irish-American descent who has a background in Native American ceremonies with her Cherokee husband. The story is definitely “multi-cultural” and even implies that the old Native American ways are superior to the modern white man’s ways. Meggie eventually learns to “pray” to the four Indian Grandfathers and the Indian Grandmother (the earth). Winona likes Christmas but resents the Christian message that people must forsake their pagan ways. When she asked the Spirits who Jesus was, they reportedly told her that He was “a son of God” who “was sent to the white man.” Of course, the Native American ritual of smoking tobacco is mentioned frequently, gambling is practiced at the casino on the local reservation, and there are numerous occasions of drinking alcohol. The story has a definite sexual side with references to rape, masturbation, and homosexuality. And the language is really bad, with quite a bit of profanity, a lot of cursing (mainly the “d” and “h” words), even a small but significant amount of vulgarity (a few instances of the “s” word and even one use of the “f” word), and a number of other risqué comments. Someone who is really into modern stories that include Native American mysticism and doesn’t mind all the naughty parts might like this book, which won the Small Press Book Award and the Body Mind Spirit Magazine Award of Excellence, but personally I can’t conscientiously recommend it to anyone. It is the first of the “Winona Trilogy.” The second is Compass of the Heart, and the third is Crack at Dusk Crook of Dawn.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-13 12:52

    I found this book in my mother's room the summer she died, and now five years later I decided to read it. I have no idea if she read it or if she chose it or if it was a gift or how long she had it. All I know is that she had it in her room and obviously used it as a coaster!It's a story of a white psychologist and how her sessions with an elderly Native American, Winona, changes her life. Winona is ready to die, which everyone finds upsetting because she's physically and mentally healthy and has no reason to be ready to die. The psychologist realizes soon that the sessions are as much for herself as for Winona, and she learns about Lakota spirituality and how it can help her be more aware of her place in the world. This book came off as somewhat condescending, but I'm personally coming from a non-spiritual place. If you pick up this book in order to be spiritually inspired then you might be more open to it. I also found the man-hating brand of feminism of the white characters to be tiresome. The book sort of suffers from it's time and place, there is something painfully early '90s and Midwestern about it. I also disliked the language, it felt very forced, which is probably due to it being written by a psychologist. The actual therapy sessions are enjoyable to read and you could see her way of thinking, like noticing body language. It was a little like watching an episode of In Treatment. Everything else felt fairly uninteresting, I really didn't care about the main character.It was, however, interesting to read about Lakota traditions. I would just rather read a book both about and by non-whites. It reminded me of when I studied Sami religion, because of the oral tradition you don't get much written by the insiders. So, I have these books about Native Americans or Inuits written by middle-aged white ladies.

  • Nan
    2019-04-07 12:14

    It has been several years since I read this book and its two sequels, but the story has remained with me for well over a decade. As I recall, the sequels were enjoyable because I had come to know the characters, but Winona's Web was unequeled. This is a story of an Indian woman, Winona, desiring to keep her culture as her attorney daughter strives to integrate into the American life while pulling her reluctant mother along in the process. The main character is a psychiatrist/counselor who has decided to take life a little slower and relocated from New York to northern Michigan where she takes over her deceased grandmother's estate and hangs her own shingle. This story has a little bit of everything.

  • Luna
    2019-04-17 15:21

    Il confronto tra l'avere e l'essere. Tra la paura della perdita e la certezza che niente ci appartiene. Il senso di quasi solitudine del non appartenere che agli altri, e la sicurezza di essere parte di un disegno pi� grande. L'ascolto di se stessi, e imparare ad ascoltare il respiro pi� grande che ci permette di respirare. Un libro desueto per l'uomo bianco, ma chi ha l'anima rossa un ripasso enorme che ricorda la direzione dei nostri passi. Mitakuye Oyas'in

  • Karenbike Patterson
    2019-04-09 16:18

    A sixty year old native American woman teaches a 30ish therapist the spirit world: connection to grandmother earth and grandfather sky and all the relatives. The best part is that it shows the connection of women to men, but the therapist lives a happy independent life. Predictable outcomes but a different story.

  • Sara
    2019-04-09 10:11

    This was a very spiritual book without being too heavy. I actually liked it a lot. Sometimes it was difficult to understand what Winona was implying in her teachings, as Meggie didn't always understand herself. I enjoyed taking this journey into the self with Meggie and wish there were such teachers as Winona in real life.

  • Shannon
    2019-04-22 14:54

    It a great story....This book was another reminder about the need to slow down and let life unfold. It has Naitive American values in it. I enjoyed the reminder that our relationships are so important and can influence what we do and who we become.

  • theceri
    2019-03-26 17:59

    A very nice way to be introduced to another way of thinking and viewing the world that has become a bit too distant for many of us probably. And a very facinating glimpse into another culture that made me want to learn more!

  • Kelly
    2019-04-21 15:55

    I liked this book because of the Native American folklore and traditions. A Native American woman claims she will die in two moons,so her daughter sends her to a psychiatrist to "cure" her. Instead, the Winona teaches Maggie, the psychiatrist, the old ways. Good interaction between the two women.

  • Sara
    2019-04-10 18:01

    I kept waiting for the Aha! moment, where I would finally understand the wisdom that the Sioux woman Winona was trying to impart on the main character Meggie. The moment never came. Or maybe it just went over my head.

  • Elizabeth Whelan
    2019-04-06 10:55

    Read it years ago. Interesting how a book affects one at different times in your life.

  • Penny Saurino
    2019-04-14 16:00

    So true to Indian ways. I loved this book. Thank you, Paula Schubert for loaning this book to me.

  • Dee
    2019-04-02 12:02

    I read this for a book group and liked it so much I recommended it to another of my groups.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-02 15:58

    I enjoyed the integration of Native American customs/beliefs in this novel.

  • Kristie
    2019-04-17 15:01

    native indian, psychology

  • Lucy Sutherland
    2019-04-02 13:55

    Very good! I met the author at a writer's group in Boston. The book is going to be made into a movie. The author is so nice & interesting. I just loved talking to her & then I just loved her book!

  • Thomas Walsh
    2019-03-31 18:09

    American Native fiction - give it a try!

  • Jeanie
    2019-04-10 10:03

    A native American goes to psychotherapy and teaches the therapist or philosophy. So trite. True and pretend she is at the same time. However I liked the book.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-04 15:08

    Beautifully written story about the friendship of a Lakota medicine woman and a conventional psychologist - takes place in Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan!

  • Silverbear
    2019-04-04 15:13

    a white physcotherapist learns to see the Native way

  • Pat
    2019-04-04 16:55

    The descriptions of life in northern MI were the best part of the book.

  • Ellen
    2019-04-12 14:08

    slow to get into but then its slowness becomes captivating. A good read when you want slow and some good, sensible wisdom.

  • Marlene (Mimi) Johnson
    2019-04-18 16:51

    This book helped me find my way through a very rough time in my life. It has one of the best opening lines EVER. "Home is where the heart can celebrate each awakening day."

  • Dreamersemporium
    2019-04-19 13:56


  • Nancy Simmons
    2019-04-07 13:06

    So glad to finally read this book. Seven years ago I read Compass of the Heart, the second of the trilogy. I am now looking forward to reading the third installment .

  • Tiasa
    2019-04-17 15:56

    stara pajkovka