read this book more than a month ago, but I haven't been able to review it. I loved it, but it made me so completely miserable that I couldn't bear to relive it. It was one of the best books I have ever read and I literally moped around the house for days when it was over.
This is the sad and wonderful tale of a young woman growing up in the Arizona Territories. It takes Sarah from her teenage years through her first and second marriages.
How could you not love Sarah? This woman loves her family, works hard, but doesn't need anybody to look after her. She beats all the men in a shooting aim contest but feels no need to boast or keep her winnings. You love her with all of her strength and you cry at her pain when she goes through her many struggles.
Sometimes Sarah saw the world with such clarity. She saved herself and her friends from men attempting to do them harm without hesitation. She defended her family against Indians and then went home to bake the bread. Other times, I wanted to scream at her to wake up, to realize which man truly loved her and that she was making a wrong decision.
Then after her first husband's death, you watch this strong woman become both the man and woman for her household. She cares for her young child and starts a cattle ranch. She is the type of woman that seems to never tire in her desire to be indepent of others and this makes you love her with her innocence and love, even through trial.
After husband number 1, there is Jack Elliot. Oh, Jack Elliot, I cannot say enough about you. Oh, how I love you. You are the rugged, wonderful solider that most women don't get to date, let alone marry, in their wildest dreams. If I was to envision the perfect man, it just might be you. Jack Elliot's character made me want to live this novel. I would have gone through all of Sarah's heartache to be with Jack Elliot. He is the type of character that you know must be fiction because no one could be that wonderful.
This is one of the most romantic books I have ever read. This is one of the most frustrating books I have ever read. I loved it. I was depressed for a full day afterward because it was over and I just couldn't take that. Read it. It is wonderful and beautiful and if you don't fall in love with Jack Elliot too, you are crazy.
It did dampen my spirits a little bit to find out that this book is only REALLY loosely based on fact. I wanted Sarah to be real, but mostly I just wanted Jack Elliot to be real. :)
(My dear husband who is upset after reading this review, I love you mucho. Of course I would pick you over Jack Elliot. :)