Bittersweet Paperback – Sep 1 1999
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"Barr has drawn on women's diaries from the Old West to bring detail to this unusual romance. The result is an intriguing story, sensitive and authentic-sounding, and far different from what is usually considered a Western novel."-- "The Miami Herald""This is a novel of power and vitality that will grip the reader...The author's skill in writing lively, often humorous dialogue and indeveloping strong, unique characters in a setting described with authenticity is impressive."-- "Library Journal""A sensitive novel...Barr tells an extraordinary story of two women in the Old West, not only pioneers but lovers forced to keep theirlove a secret...Barr succeeds in conveying the meaning of these brave and desperate lives."-- "Booklist""The novel...is tender and gentle in its exploration of commitment between two women, especially in days when females wereexpected to live out their narrow lives doing exhausting work and obeying their husbands."-- "St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch"
About the Author
Navada Barr is the award-winning author of seven Anna Pigeon mysteries: Track of the Cat, A Superior Death, Ill Wind, Firestorm, Endangered Species, Blind Descent, and Liberty Falling. She lives in Mississippi and was most recently a ranger on the Natchez Trace Parkway
Top Customer Reviews
Now, i could be completely off the mark, I am a straight male. Just my opinion.
It took too long for the story to get going, but once it did, it moved right along and kept my attention. During the time in Caliope and Reno, the story was pretty good and well-written, containing all the best elements of an adventurous life in the West. But after the girls moved out to Round Hole, it started going downhill, all the way to the terrible ending, which was swift and abrupt and lame. The charade that they try to maintain throughout the last third of the book is completely unbelievable and more than a little ridiculous. I thought it was a very poor way to get the two women out of a difficult situation and it just didn't work at all. Still, except for the last part of the book and the unconvincing relationship that develops between the two friends, I thought this was a pretty good story.
Two women move west to escape persecution from their lifestyle. Unfortunately when they first move, they haven't actually done anything, but the one woman becomes entangled in the other's affairs. Though this is a novel about the love two women have for eachother the sexual feelings are secondary to simple, mutual caring.
Intrigued by the life these women "lived," I several times read the book into the wee hours of morning. It was quite a wonderful journey. I do have one criticism, which is that the end of the book was confusing. I don't want to give anything away, but what the women did to keep the ranch was one thing, the fact that the "person" changed names in the narrative was (to me at least) cumbersome reading.
I fell in love with the two heroines, Imogene, a teacher, and Sarah, her student, who ends up in a loveless and brutal marriage. They love each other and are persecuted by narrow-minded people who claim their love is unnatural and sinful. This hostility forces them to bond together, to hide their true feelings, and to move from place to place. The author does a great job of presenting this relationship in the context of the 19th Century, and yet provides a deeper look into the daily lives of these women than would be possible from historic sources of the time.
Truly an inspiring story of the power of love and the strength that comes from a loving relationship.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is an insightful and sensitive look at the isolation of individuals and the comfort of companionship. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2003 by Marybeth Quist
The author is highly skilled at conveying her story, finely drawing her characters, and capturing the atmosphere of the 1800's. Read morePublished on Sept. 23 2001 by labellepersonne
The story of an old maid schoolteacher and a young farm girl who became very close, in fact in love, which at that time was unheard of. Read morePublished on April 24 2001 by Reeda
I came to this novel as a reader of the Anna Pigeon series. As it was Nevada Barr's first novel, I expected far less than I got. Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2000
Barr's first novel is the story of two women trying to make a life together in the late 1800s in Pennsylvania and later in Nevada. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2000
I thoroughly enjoyed all of Ms. Barr's other works of fiction, but good Lord, this book was depressing. Read morePublished on May 30 2000
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