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Publisher's Summary

Joseph Kimmel is heading to San Antonio to settle his deceased brother's estate but becomes stranded on the vast open prairie when his horse is stolen. He is rescued by an egocentric Alsatian immigrant, but falls back into trouble when he marries a young blond girl. Running for their lives, Joseph and his new bride head to the hill country, where they hope to build a cattle ranch. Unfortunately, the ruthless Texas Rangers have other ideas.

Vida's intense drama and realistic characters are supported by in-depth historical research and vividly depict the countless hardships of the American pioneers. Listeners will be spellbound by the fiery reading from narrator George Guidall.

©2006 Nina Vida; (P)2007 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"This radiant work of historical fiction, vibrantly atmospheric and emotionally dense, spans 12 years in the lives of many engaging characters, who come to life on every page." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story
  • Craig
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 09-25-13

This Literature is Important and Beautiful

Without getting too allegorical here, I am going to have to say that this story is an allegory. The protagonist is the wandering Jew in the desert (albeit Texas circa 1850). He is righteous, moral, indignant, and a tad bit blessed with some powerful karma that makes his life good and that of his detractors not so good (ultimately). The story is a Western in all its various forms, but the compelling thread that binds all of the story's disparate characters together is that bad people get what they deserve and good people learn (as they go) how to be better people.

This book will image a landscape in your consciousness (it's subtle, but effective writing in this regard). And, I promise that you will murmur several breathy OMG's for the tears repressed by its main characters (remember someone has to weep for the Wretched of the Earth!).

I believe that the author, Nina Vida, wants us to grok that the flow of life and death in 19th Century Texas was a tragic, but ultimately, beautiful piece of poetry. The tragic part is obvious with all that Comanche stuff going on, but Vida takes us beyond the usual torture and kidnapping pulp fiction into a more divine understanding of the truly horrid. Don't worry about gratuitous violence...this book is too matter of fact to be bogged down with sort of stuff.

I think there was a sequel planned for this book, but it was never written...thus the four-star overall rating. The book does deserves a sequel.

I give it five stars for "truth telling."

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Chris
  • Hillsborough, CA, United States
  • 10-16-11

Lonesome Dove wannabe

Interesting story, written well enough, though bogs down too often. Has enough excitement scattered throughout to keep your interest. Good characters, and, as usual, George Guidall's narration is riveting.

  • Overall
  • Stacey
  • Liberty Hill, TX, USA
  • 04-27-08

Dark

If you are into Dark and Depressing, this is for you.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful