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When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes the hand behind the attack as the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he'd finally carved out a home and started a herd--while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail, driving off dangerous men. He'd hoped those days were over, but the latest attack shows he was wrong. Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace offers the only shelter for miles around, and agrees to take them in until she can safely continue. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling--yet enticing. Working to survive the winter and finally bring justice to the trail, Trace and Deborah find themselves drawn together--yet every day approaches the moment she'll leave forever.
With "The Pioneers" (1823), Cooper initiated his series of elegiac romances of frontier life and introduced the world to Natty Bumppo (or Leather-stocking). Set in 1793 in New York State, the novel depicts an aging Leather-stocking negotiating his way in a restlessly expanding society. In his introduction, Robert Daly argues for the novel s increasing relevance: we live in a similarly complex society as Cooper s frontier world, faced with the same questions about the limits of individualism, the need for voluntary cooperation, and stewardship of the environment.
The John Harvard Library edition reproduces the authoritative text of "The Pioneers" in the "The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper, "published by the State University of New York Press.
William Tell Sackett had followed a different path from his younger brothers, but his name, like theirs, was spoken with respect and just a little fear. Where Orrin had brought law and order from New Mexico to the plains of Montana, backed up by the gunfighting talents of his brother Tye, Tell Sackett's destiny drew him to Texas after he had to kill a man. There, in the high, lonesome country, he came upon a vein of pure gold. All he'd wanted was enough to buy a ranch, but he soon learned that gold had ways of its own with men.
Travelling West was never easy. Men, women and children endured the rough terrain, the heat, the cold, illness and, sometimes, Indians. So, when sickness struck, and wagons had to be segregated, the danger was increased. There were always men ready to take advantage and Clem Watkins and his gang were ready to do just that. Ardal Maloney, his wife Kate and two children had left Ireland to seek out a new life in the West. Leaving behind them starvation, poverty and death, they came to the New World to start afresh. But the senseless killing of women and children fired Ardal into seeking to avenge their deaths.
Rafe Caradec was a man who always rode at the ready, hardened by a life spent among ruthless men who played for the highest stakes. The only thing Rafe held sacred was his word--and now he had sworn to a dying man that he would save his Long Valley ranch for his wife and daughter, Ann. But Ann thought Rafe was moving in for his own crooked gain, and played right into the deadly hands of the greedy ranchers plotting to destroy her. Then Rafe figured a way to save Ann and the land. It would be dangerous--but that was the only way Rafe Caradec knew.
Hailed as one of "the best novels ever set in America's fourth largest city" (Douglas Brinkley, New York Times Book Review), All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers is a powerful demonstration of Larry McMurtry's "comic genius, his ability to render a sense of landscape, and interior intellection tension" (Jim Harrison, New York Times Book Review). Desperate to break from the "mundane happiness" of Houston, budding writer Danny Deck hops in his car, "El Chevy," bound for the West Coast on a road trip filled with broken hearts and bleak realities of the artistic life. A cast of unforgettable characters joins the naive troubadour's pilgrimage to California and back to Texas, including a cruel, long-legged beauty; an appealing screenwriter; a randy college professor; and a genuine if painfully "normal" friend. Since the novel's publication in 1972, Danny Deck has "been far more successful at getting loved by readers than he ever was at getting loved by the women in his life" (McMurtry), a testament to the author's incomparable talent for capturing the essential tragicomedy of the human experience.
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