Overland Trailby Wendi Lee
A powerful novel based on the actual diaries of the women who crossed the country in the late 1840s, The Overland Trail is a sequel to Kathleen O'Neal Gear's Thin Moon and Cold Mist. After her husband dies, America gives birth to a daughter who is promptly stolen by another wagon train family. America then joins forces with a Paiute woman and her brother to recover the child.
Pregnant, her lover dead, and pressured by her wealthy Philadelphia family to marry, a heroine with the unlikely name of America weds Will Hollis, a young lawyer bent on emigrating west. Hollis is less a character than an explanation for America's presence on the wagon train. In fact, her friendship with Catherine Welborne, a mail-order bride traveling to Oregon, is more believable than her marriage, and her indignation at Isaac Moore's beating his wife seems more deeply felt that her affection for Hollis. In an orgy of heroine-like acts, America champions Indian rights and the abolition of slavery, decries domestic violence, saves the life of Celeste Hayes when her long skirts catch fire, and buries Hollis after he is accidentally killed. Meanwhile, inept the villains, Reverend Tarleton Sandford and his wife, Muriel, are as devoid of virtue as America is of fault and even less believable. Their one successful act of villainythe burial of America when she lapses into unconsciousness after childbirth, and the theft of her babylacks credibility. Not that credible is a prerequisite, as Lee demonstrates in the climax here when America, rescued from her premature grave by the Paiute Indians, steals back her daughter from the Sandfords and rides off to marry the half- Shoshone Black Wolf after first single-handedly rescuing him from hanging.
Improbable plot, poor characterization, and stilted dialogue keep this from rising even to the level of good melodrama.
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i loved this book i couldn't put it down i loved to sit down and read it i would read over time when my teacher said stop reading!