Sunday, March 31, 2013

Homesteader by David M. McGowen ~ review

  • File Size: 625 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Eloquent Books (December 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
 December 2, 2011

Staking a claim to a homestead in the rugged, untamed Canadian frontier of the 1880’s was hard enough. But when someone tries to run roughshod over the “nesters,” a man has to take a stand.

There is more than bad weather for Hank James to contend with as he rides in search of the land of his dreams and the woman of his heart. Portis Martin, manager of a large cattle company, has no use for the small homesteaders that have begun to pepper the area…and he isn’t afraid of using every dirty trick he knows to run them out.

And Portis had been doing a pretty good job of it—until Hank James and his partner arrive on the stage. 

The dreams of early homesteaders were not always strong enough to see them through adversity, but with Hank James on their side, the people might just find a way of uniting for the common good and building a dream that can endure.

My take on this book:
Henry James also known as Hank was twenty-one when he and his partner Harry Gilmore decide to homestead. Truthfully Hank was also looking for Sharon Dalton, whom he had fallen hard for while they were living in Farwell, BC where Hank had a successful freight business. When she abruptly left town Hank sells his business and  follows her to Fort Calgary.As Hank stakes a claim to their homesteads they learn that the Norfolk Cattle Company run by Portis Martin has been running rough shod over the homesteaders. When Portis tries his tactics with Hank he quickly learns that Hank isn't your average "nester" when he refuses to back down, but that doesn't stop Martin and his employer from doing their best to get rid of Hank. Will Hank outwit his enemy, and even if he does can his homestead survive the brutal winter conditions? 

 Mr. McGowen takes the reader back to the days when a man could claim a piece of land and if he became a successful homesteader he would soon own the land. What made this story unique for me is that I normally read these types of stories about America not Canada where "Homesteader" takes place. I found myself absorbed not only in the story, but the history lesson that I felt like I was getting as the story unfolded. The plot never lags, instead it pulled me along making me wonder what might happen on the next page.Mr. McGowen skillfully crafts his words bringing to life the scenes he describes, and in several instances even allows the reader to feel the  scenes he is describing. From the freezing cold of winter, to the fear, and nervousness the "enemy" felt as they saw the Blackfoot warriors painted and ready for a fight.I also  found myself laughing as I visualized a shocked cowboy trying  to hang on for dear life when his horse is spooked. It was easy to see that the author really did his research with this story, from the range war to the way we watch Hank and his two Blackfoot workers build the homestead, the details really make the story seem very realistic. I also found myself enjoying the secondary story of Hank and Sharon and couldn't help but wonder how that would turn out. Fans of historical fiction with an authentic feel, that provides several twists, a bit of mystery,romance, and suspense, that just happens to take place in Canada will certainly enjoy this story. 

rating 5/5
Reviewed for

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your wonderful comments make my day, thanks for dropping by!