A review by a founder of the Oregon-California Trails Association, historian and author William E. Hill:
If 'n you're hanker in' for a historical novel that is full of adventure and that takes a hard look at the "elephant," ie., the dangers and hazards, that so tried the emigrants going west, look no further, it is Fred Dickey's Days of Hope, Miles of Misery. The story is set in the mid-1840s at the end of the fur trade and the beginning of Manifest Destiny on the then developing Oregon-California trail. It combines adventure and romance, personal conflict and hardships, celebrations and sorrows as a wagon train travels and encounters various dangerous situations on its almost 2,000 mile journey west to California.
Nimrod Lee was a grieving and former mountain man turned guide, and Hannah Blanc, a rebel for her time, and a recently remarried widower and mother, whom many modern women can identify with, are the featured characters.
The characters' dialogue is realistic. An emigrant from the 1840-60s would feel at home in this novel.
I would recommend this "good read" to my friends, - and you, are now one of them.
Editorial Review, from K.C. Finn, author and professional reviewer:
As the subtitle suggests, the work is set during the pioneering time of the mid-nineteenth century when brave folk set out to carve their destinies via the harrowing journey of the Oregon Trail. We follow many lives as they intertwine, but most notably that of doctor Hannah Blanc and mountain man Nimrod Lee. As the pair struggles with their own demons, their union brings about yet more complexity and strife.
Author Fred Dickey has crafted a really interesting novel with plenty of historical flavor, setting out the harsh realities of this time period, but also its many rewards and triumphs for true hard work. It was clear to see that the author engaged in heavy research for the piece, as every page is packed with intricate historical details.
Overall, I would highly recommend Days of Hope, Miles of Misery - Love and Loss on the Oregon Trail as an accomplished work of historical fiction.