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Posted June 18, 2009
The Man From Shenandoah by Marsha Ward
The Civil War has just finished and Carl Owen has just returned home to find his family farm destroyed. His family decide to leave Virginia to seek his mom's brother in the gold fields of Colorado Territory. Carl's father decides to start fresh with starting a cattle ranch and with other families in the community going with them, the journey is bearable. Carl encounters and battles Berto Acosta, a murderous outlaw leader, along with his gang, battles a prairie fire, blizzards, a trackless waterless desert, and his own brother, who has been promised Ellen as his bride by both fathers, while Carl is set to marry Ida. This western novel has everything and the action is non-stop. There are two more in this series and I've just started the second Vol., Ride To Raton, with Trail of Storms the last one. I highly recommend this excellent novel. Kudos to Marsha.
Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next time, See You Around The Book Nook
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Pub. Date: December 2002
Posted March 5, 2003
I had nearly given up on reading Westerns as the newer ones I have are written with our modern morals and language. Ms. Ward uses the language of the class & region, which makes The Man from Shenandoah so real. The book gives us joyous times but doesn¿t pass lightly over the hardships of the time. The author draws a character in such human warmth and depth that you have no trouble remembering who is whom. I don¿t know how a woman can write so well from a man¿s viewpoint; but, as she illustrates so well, men didn¿t understand women in the old West any better than they do now, but well, we women have always understood enough for both sexes! I love the dialogue that eases us into seeing from Carl Owens'eyes. His thoughts and words flow so clearly that we come to know him well. Carl is not given to flowery speeches. He can be complex; at times makes some pretty humorous mistakes, and he doesn¿t like to apologize for them. He¿s pretty good at laughing at himself however. Carl's values and his honor cause him no end of conflict with his family and others throughout his story. Often a western (especially one with romance included) doesn¿t sketch the family at all. I liked this one because the main character was not the 'silent loner with no family to teach him love and values' hero. The better part of the characters in this novel were members of warm, loving, laughing, arguing and flawed families. It was a joy to get to know them. Ms. Ward paints vivid night skies, warm sun on your face and makes you wish you could lie down to contemplate the clouds in a meadow surrounded by quakies (Aspen trees to those not native to the Rockies). Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona have been my playgrounds all my life and the journey into past memories was achingly sweet. A young girl threw her arms up over her head, whirled around in a meadow full of wildflowers and cried ¿I love you, Colorado, you¿re beautiful.¿ This Colorado girl was so homesick she cried too - tears. Ms. Ward's characters worked `danged hard¿ and they went down to the ¿crick¿ to get water. Arizonan¿s give me such strange looks when I talk about the dry cricks here. Well, human nature being what it is, there were people I loved and people I could do without but loved to hate. I was also a bit humbled by the women, who reminded me of my great-grandmother. She was a bit like Ellen Bates. Now give us our sequel - it's so hard to wait! I can't leave you without also mentioning that the cover is to die for. Yummy!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 23, 2003
I finished "The Man From Shenandoah" at half-past midnight because I couldn¿t put it down. I didn't know I was a western aficionado, but this book made me want to find a horse and put my hubby in riding gear (loved the cover)! This was a great story; the gripping action, the believable characters, and the historical research. I loved that it was as much a romance as it was a family western, and I never realized I was a romance aficionado either! The author skillfully took me into the past--familiar with mining territory in Nevada, and the more western parts of Utah, Arizona and Colorado¿the story had me there with the dust and the snowstorms and cabins and praire fire and all. Especially beneficial was the story's ability to inspire me to be a better wife. I don't want to be so much like that shallow Ida (gulp); I best be gettin' more like Miss Ellen! The author¿s blood, sweat and tears paid off; I will add her sequel(s) to my bookcase as well. Thank you for the adventure, Ms. Ward!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 24, 2010
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