Review by Booklist Review
Tracked by bloodhounds and pursued by brutal-looking redheaded twins, a gently reared young woman flees over the plains of western Canada and into the mountains. She hears voices and sees events that may or may not be happening, causing her and other characters in this stylistically complex novel to question her sanity. The widow (as she is called in the first eight chapters of the book) is rescued by strangers who allow her free passage on a ferry or give her sanctuary and one who starts her back toward reality and sanity. Adamson cleverly integrates techniques of the adventure-suspense novel with a refined, often poetic style. She maintains suspense while portraying the wilderness of Canada's far west and providing fine portraits of the people who lived in and were shaped by it. The slow unfolding of story and character coupled with lyrical descriptions of the terrain, an occasional touch of bizarre humor, and a multitude of well-chosen historical details will appeal to readers of literary writing as well as historical- fiction fans.--Loughran, Ellen Copyright 2008 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Set in 1903, Adamson's compelling debut tells the wintry tale of 19-year-old Mary Boulton ("[w]idowed by her own hand") and her frantic odyssey across Idaho and Montana. The details of Boulton's sad past-an unhappy marriage, a dead child, crippling depression-slowly emerge as she reluctantly ventures into the mountains, struggling to put distance between herself and her two vicious brothers-in-law, who track her like prey in retaliation for her killing of their kin. Boulton's journey and ultimate liberation-made all the more captivating by the delirium that runs in the recesses of her mind-speaks to the resilience of the female spirit in the early part of the last century. Lean prose, full-bodied characterization, memorable settings and scenes of hardship all lift this book above the pack. Already established as a writer of poetry (Ashland) and short stories (Help Me, Jacques Cousteau), Adamson also shines as novelist. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Canadian poet and short fiction writer Adamson (Ashland), a 2007 Hammett Prize nominee, has shaped a picaresque tale in the style of Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain. Set in 1903, it reveals Mary Boulton's life with her cruel husband, John, in jagged flashbacks reflecting her sporadic delirium from hunger and the harsh elements. After their sickly newborn son dies, Mary takes the only way out she knows: she kills John with his hunting rifle and escapes West, with John's two angry brothers in pursuit. Various eccentrics help her along her harrowing journey, including William Moreland, a rough mountain man who eventually leaves her to return to the wilderness. Mary barely survives until a Crow Indian finds and takes her to a nearby mining town, where she recuperates. The brothers eventually track her down there, arriving just after a calamitous landslide. Authentic historical details, a strong female character running for her life, and a murder-driven plot will appeal to fiction readers in all public libraries. Highly recommended.--Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.