California Kingdoms

California Kingdoms

by Robert W. Broomall

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Broomall ( Texas Kingdoms ) draws a multifaceted--but seldom pretty--picture of Gold Rush California. When a group of Americans heading West via Panama is attacked by its guides, only three survive: Jack Marlow, a gruff man with a mysterious past; Wade Rawson, a former law student; and Kathy Beddoes, on her way to join her husband. They make it to a port where Jack, through bullying and bribery, gains passage for them and a cabin for Kathy, unbeknownst to them, displacing Juan and Elena Soto, a Chilean miner and his pregnant wife. Once in California, Jack and Wade have little to show after months of mining. Wade decides to tough it out; Jack turns to professional gambling and kills a man who accuses him of cheating. 126 Kathy, having learned on her arrival that she is a widow, survives by running a hotel for miners until the formerly prim woman discovers she has a talent for singing. The tale entertains through its sheer variety of characters who act honorably and despicably, living in affluence and desperate poverty; yet their stories are not complete until they encounter Juan Soto, who is determined to exact revenge for the prejudice he and Elena have endured. (June)

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Random House Publishing Group
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