by Dylan Harson
4.00 · 1 ratings · Published: Jan 1st, 1996 |
In the great tradition of The Big Sky and The Way West, Kansas Blue is a sweeping novel of Americana set in the wake of the 1862 Homestead Act, dramatized by three families of would-be homesteaders at the edge of "civilization" as they'd known it, with little in common except the hunger to stake claims for a new life in the West. At the novel's center is Louise Danielle Coopersand, whose husband returned from the Civil War suffering from injuries to body and spirit sustained at the bloody Battle of Pittsburgh Landing. But "Danni" is fiercely loyal, convinced that in a new place he will recover. Escorting the small wagon train on its way west from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is former Union Cavalry Lieutenant Austin Bourke, who has weathered the war and infuses Danni with instant confidence, and ultimately more than confidence. The way West for the Coopersands and the other families becomes a relentless struggle against storms, floods, and ex-Confederate soldiers turned outlaws. Kansas Blue is a boisterous, authentic tale set against the backdrop of the American West of nearly a century-and-a-half ago, a fresh reworking of classic western themes that speaks to today's equally intense yet very different times.
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