Highly recommended for Kansas-Missouri Border War junkies, and anyone who currently lives in the Lawrence KS/Kansas City MO region. Strong sense of place. Utterly believable. Full of beautiful ambiguity. If you struggle reading the print version (some of it is written in the style of writers from 1855, so expect some long, descriptive passages and archaic language) I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook version. The narrator is fantastic. My only complaint is that, because of the subject matter, there are many n-bombs dropped throughout the book, which can be disconcerting to a modern reader. The offensive language is accurate of the times, though, so it makes for an authentic story.
I enjoyed this journey from Quincy, Illinois to the wilds of "Bloody Kansas." I found the writing to be a bit heavy/dense at times. It was a lot like reading book that was actually written in the 1800s in that sense. But it also contained a lot of dry, wit that had me laughing out loud. If you're looking for a book that will immerse you into a very specific time and place, this one will certainly draw you in.
This is a long book, which needs a narrator whose voice can carry the story-line better than Lidie's voice does. In my opinion, a severe editing process might have helped the book move along a little better and thus made it more readable. As it is, I'm half-way through and I find I just don't care anymore what happens to any of the characters, so I'm not finishing. Kinda too bad, because this is a really good author.
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