Saturday, April 21, 2012

NightsongNightsong by Carolyn Davidson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nightsong has languished on my tbr pile for years. I started it but put it down because I wasn't been in a mood to finish it at the time.  Yesterday, I felt this strong urge to read a western. Those urges come on me, and I felt it best to indulge.  My eyes fell on it tucked into the large bookshelf in my room, and I started reading it again.  It was the right book for my present mood.

Nightsong has that feel that I enjoy in a historical western.  Strong people living their lives, facing adversities, and adhering to their personal sense of honor.  Debra is a woman of two worlds:  her mother was Indian and her father was white. Both worlds have rejected her to some extent.  As a result, Debra has found her own world to live in. When hard-eyed Ethan Tyler comes along, determined to live with her at her homestead, she doesn't like the idea, but she can't make him leave.  Before she knows it, they are married.  And she falls in love with her husband, a man with torment and dark memories in his eyes.  Before they can found a future, Ethan has to face his past. He is a fugitive, having killed the man who killed his wife and young son, and a bounty hunter has come to take him back.  Honor dictates that Ethan go back and prove he was right to kill that man.  Will this man she has come to love as her husband return to her, or will she be forced go back to living alone, on the edge of two worlds?

I liked the steady narrative, which was light on dialogue and heavy on description. Admittedly, this doesn't always work for me, but it did for this book at this moment in time and space.  It showed rather than told who Debra and Ethan were.  They are characters in which actions speak louder than words, so it was fitting.  Through their interaction in the world around them, with each other, and with other pivotal characters.  (view spoiler)[ I especially liked Gray Wolf, Debra's brother who shows up. I wonder if he had a story. I'd read it.  (hide spoiler)]

It's an interesting thing how much reading depends on mood, at least for me.  At times, this sort of book wouldn't be what I wanted to read. Other times, like yesterday, it was what the doctor ordered. It satisfied my craving for a western, and left me wanting more.  That's why I gave it four stars.

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