Fearless: A Novel of Sarah Bowman

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Overview

Author of the highly acclaimed Ride the Wind, Lucia St. Clair Robson is blessed with what Anne Rivers Siddons calls "an extraordinary ability to hear the particular human music that runs deep in history." Now, in Fearless, Robson's special gifts are at their brilliant best in the portrayal of Sarah Bowman, a stunning, six-foot, cayenne-haired woman whose passion, courage, and kindness made her a living legend of the American West.

Riding tall against the sun-bleached indigo of ...

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Fearless: A Novel of Sarah Bowman

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Overview

Author of the highly acclaimed Ride the Wind, Lucia St. Clair Robson is blessed with what Anne Rivers Siddons calls "an extraordinary ability to hear the particular human music that runs deep in history." Now, in Fearless, Robson's special gifts are at their brilliant best in the portrayal of Sarah Bowman, a stunning, six-foot, cayenne-haired woman whose passion, courage, and kindness made her a living legend of the American West.

Riding tall against the sun-bleached indigo of the Texas sky, Sarah Bowman was a force of nature all her own. Famous for her wit, ready and radiant smile, and shining green eyes, the strong-willed Tennessee woman participated in the Florida campaign against the Seminoles. She survived snake-filled swamps, bullets, alligators and disease, and married a man who admired her boundless spirit.

In 1845, Mexico would not relinquish its claim to Texas, and the U.S. prepared for war. Under the command of General Zachary "Old Rough and Ready" Taylor, Sarah signed on as a laundress and cook and bivouacked with Taylor's army in Corpus Christi, preparing for an attack by Mexico. Before the war even began, though, her husband was killed. But going home was out of the question. She considered the army her home and its soldiers her family. Nowhere else would her courage and compassion be so much needed and appreciated.

While battle raged around her, Sarah became a familiar figure through the haze of sulfurous blue smoke and the stench of exploding gunpowder, riding among the flames to retrieve the wounded. Through the long years of bitter battle, she would find love in the arms of a sergeant with eyes as golden as a flame, and friendship in the company of Cruz, a Mexican woman whose personal history encompassed the war in all its passions and horrors.

In Fearless, Lucia St. Clair Robson opens the doors to history and brings us into the life of a truly remarkable woman. Colorful and sweeping, this breathtaking novel captures both our heritage and our heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When you're an imposing flame-haired beauty, standing six feet or better with a heart as big as Texas and a Tennessee wit to match, your life will be filled with adventure. At least if you're Sarah Bowman, the larger-than-life heroine of this dashing western romance from popular novelist Robson (Mary's Land). Basing her protagonist on the historical figure who was dubbed the Great Western by her beloved army boys in the 1840s, Robson creates a lively narrative as Sarah loves and loses men, makes and loses fortunes, saves and succors friends, foils terrorists, all the while mothering (and laundering and cooking for) Zachary Taylor's troops during the Mexican war. Robson's period details are vivid: one can almost feel the hot brass of the cannon and the hunger of the poor Mexicans and smell the Army mules and their drivers. Sarah herself has no mean gift for daily conversation and lyrical expression. With its tough-and-tender Amazon lifted from the history books, this tall tale towers in appeal and skill over most western historicals. (July)
Library Journal
Having triumphed with books like Walk in My Soul (1986), best-selling historical novelist Robson returns with the story of Sarah Borginnis Bowman, who followed her husband to war (the Mexican war, that is) and stayed on to fight after his death.
Library Journal
When Sarah Bowman's husband enlisted in the army in 1838, she worked as a laundress for the troops in the Florida campaign. Seven years later, they have followed Zachary Taylor's troops to Mexico, but her husband dies before the battles begin. She stays anyway, hiring local women to provide hot meals, clean laundry, monte games, and sexual favors for the soldiers. At six feet, Sarah intimidates many men, and her courage and strength impress almost everyone. She not only tends to the wounded in battle but even participates herself. The novel's pages are filled with innumerable battles, treks across inhospitable deserts, brutal and treacherous murders, and small deeds of kindness. Amid the tumult, Sarah's most lasting tie is to a Mexican woman whom she saves more than once from a man who misuses her. Although based on history, this story renders Sarah as almost a cartoon superheroine, charging from one adventure to the next. Libraries in the Southwest might consider adding the title to satisfy regional interest. Also for collections where Robson's other historical novels (e.g., Mary's Land, LJ 8/95) are popular. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/98.]--Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., MN
Kirkus Reviews
Robson (Mary's Land, 1995, etc.), who only recently moved to hardcover, continues to turn just-the-facts into highly realistic historical fiction, filled with strongly focused characters and glowing with phosphorescent detail. Beginning in 1845, this tells of the real-life Sarah Borginnis Bowman, a boundlessly spirited six-footer with cayenne hair, whose first husband dies on a boat when a white-hot steam-boiler erupts, blowing the indestructible Jack Borginnis to atoms. Jack had been serving under General Zachary Taylor, and when Taylor's troops in Corpus Christi have been ordered to march on Mexico, which won't give up Texas to the States, Sarah believes herself to be an Army woman, signs on as a laundress and cook, and goes along. As soldiers discover, she's fearless in battle, and at the slaughter at the Rio Grande is seen courageously retrieving the wounded amid exploding gunpowder. She follows Old Zach through battle after battle against Santa Anna, marries a Corporal Davis, and later meets a golden-eyed man who moves with amazing grace, as if to waltz music. After the war, she takes the name of Albert Bowman when they set up house together. More richly detailed historical fiction from an author who writes only what she absolutely wants to—and has a good time doing it.
Dale Walker
(Bowman) strides into life from history's dusty pages under Lucia St. Clair Robson's expert pen.... Robson has writen a vibrant work that gives us back some forgotten history.
name unknown
Robson continues to turn just-the-facts into highly realistic historical fiction, filled with strongly focused characters and glowing with phosphorescent detail.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345397706
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/7/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucia St. Clair Robson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in South Florida. She has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela and a teacher in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. She has also lived in Japan, South Carolina, and southern Arizona. After earning her master's degree in Library Science at Florida State University, she worked as a public librarian in Annapolis, Maryland.  She is the author of the historical novels Mary's Land, Light a Distant Fire, Ride the Wind, The Tokaido Road, and Walk in My Soul. She lives near Annapolis in a wooded community on the Severn River.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2011

    If you like historical novels, this is a must read!

    Ms. St. Clair Robson kept this book very interesting while weaving in historical data. Loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 1, 2014

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