SANGRE DE CRISTO
Perhaps I am overly concerned, but there is the concern for appealing to the modern, perhaps less patient and more action oriented reader. I write reality, and real life is more low key than Hollywood portrays it.
With respect to narrative in Sangre de Cristo, it is intentional, and several things are going on. At the time of writing some of the narrative passages just flowed and some were crafted a bit more intentionally. Whatever the case, the use of that amount of narrative had an intended purpose.
The narrative does five things that I intended: 1. starts the book in a story teller style as if it were from an Appalachian storyteller or someone similar (an old person, perhaps); 2. emulates older novels like the ones from the era in which the story is set; 3. builds an atmosphere of tedium of the type one experiences on a long, slow trip in a desolate place with few companions (as is happening at the point in this story where narrative style is most dominate); 4. within that tedium, accentuates the tension of the two characters' first experience with killing (the knife event on the Brazos River).
And, perhaps most important of all, 5. creates a somewhat evident change in the story's atmosphere at the time that the two key characters in the whole trilogy (Sunny and Aaron) meet. There is a style shift that causes that atmospheric change when the two become closer friends. Why? Although in this 3 book series (as in real life), Sunny and Aaron are not always the center of attention or the main protagonists, their relationship is a watershed moment. If their unusual meeting and love had not happened, much of what happened positively to everyone else would have not occurred. Those lives would have unfolded differently and very possibly badly. Aaron and Sunny are unusually strong and capable people, and several lives are better for knowing them as a couple rather than as individuals. Those people include: themselves, Ellen, Dusty, Dahiná, Naadáá, Dr. Emerson, and the Hofstadters. Also, later in modern times, Shane Amundsen and Duane Jefferson can be added to the list, in the novel The Mountains, the Rivers, and the Plains. All of that unfolds logically and believably rather than like an improbable movie plot.