‘Among the Lesser Gods’ Reminds Us to Listen to Our Elders [REVIEW]

Leadville, Colorado

Sometimes bad decisions take us to unexpected places. (Photo by Gene, Flickr)

Faced with a startling change in circumstances and a questionable future, a young woman takes a chance and accepts an unexpected opportunity that sends her to the Colorado mountains in Margo Catts’ debut novel, Among the Lesser Gods. 



A recent college graduate, Elena Alvarez’s future should be bright and full of hope. The problem is she has no clear purpose in life and no definite plans, except to figure out what to do about her pregnancy. Then she receives a letter from her grandmother in Colorado which opens a window and provides a possible answer about what Elena should do next.

One of the things Catts does well in this novel of self discovery is that she paints Elena in terms the reader can understand, as a young woman without purpose or direction. Although she begins to find her way toward the end of the book, for most of the novel, Elena lacks the depth to really connect to readers on a personal level.

I never really became vested in Elena and ultimately disliked her because she lacked motivation and wallowed in self pity. For instance, the novel begins with Elena saying, “I wasn’t thinking about rescue when my grandmother’s letter came. Nothing in my life had given me reason to expect divine giveaways, and I certainly didn’t deserve any. No, to be honest, I was thinking about a nap.” It is statements like this that almost made me put the book down without finishing it, because who wants to read a book about a character who isn’t even interesting to herself?

The saving grace for this book, however, is Elena’s grandmother, Tuah. She is a woman that is wise, honest and eloquent. I found myself reading her words multiple times because of the truth they conveyed. In one passage, after explaining why she goes to the family cabin alone, she says, “I go there to connect myself with my people…you need to start thinking about other people besides yourself. It’s the only way you’ll ever stop being afraid.” This is a lesson many of us take years to learn, and this kind of insight redeems the book.

If you learn anything from Among the Lesser Gods, perhaps it will be this: Sometimes all we need to do is take the time to listen to someone who has truly lived. The lessons taught by a battle-scarred life can teach each of how to survive life’s most troubling circumstances and come out on the other side intact and moving in a productive direction.

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Margo Catts

Margo Catts
(Photo by Tiffany Anderson)

Margo Catts grew up in Los Angeles and has since lived in Utah, Indiana, and Colorado. After raising three children in the U.S., she and her husband moved to Saudi Arabia, where her Foreign Girl blog was well known in the expat community.

Originally a freelance editor for textbooks and magazines, she has also done freelance writing for business, technical, and advertising clients, all the while working on her fiction. She is a contributing author to Once Upon an Expat. Among the Lesser Gods is her first novel.

Margo now lives in Denver, Colorado. Visit her home on the Web, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Margo Catts
336 pgs. Arcade Publishing. $24.99

You may purchase Among the Lesser Gods at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble.

Among the Lesser Gods is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

3 Responses to ‘Among the Lesser Gods’ Reminds Us to Listen to Our Elders [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Game Changer: Learn to Shift Your Perspective [GUEST POST] | Jathan & Heather

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

  3. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    As young people, we don’t always find our purpose or even our sense of direction right off the bat. That’s why it helps to listen to those individuals in our lives who have been around a while. Read Margo Catts’ debut, Among the Lesser Gods and discover why shared wisdom is so important.

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