Saturday, September 06, 2008

Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson

Comanche Moon was an incredible book. I stayed up almost to 2:30am last night reading it (although I try to go to be semi-early on the weekends because it messes me up for the weeknights since I have to get up really early), but finally made myself put the book down and go to sleep. First thing this morning I started reading it again, until I had to go pill my cat, and ended up moving onto my chores. I went the whole gamut of emotions reading it. It reminded me why I avoid books focusing on the Indian-Settler conflict. It is a very real and heartbreaking subject for me. I hate that large groups of the native peoples were exterminated, and most were driven to the edge of extinction, and now some of the tribes are barely hanging on. I definitely feel for the Native tribes, although I don't agree with slaughtering of homesteaders that was done. There is no "white hat" and there is no "noble savage." Just humans with different goals in conflict with each other. It is a complicated issue, with atrocities (and evil people) on both sides, and Catherine Anderson did a fantastic job of evenhandedly covering the issue. I haven't read one of her books for a while (just have been reading a lot of paranormal and urban fantasy and not too much mainstream contemps, and I had read most of her more recent historicals). And the funny thing is people look down on romances. I don't think a non-fiction book could have given me this experience as well, because the emotional component was there as we had Loretta who represented the settler side, and Hunter who represented the Native American side. Loretta and Hunter were three-dimensional, well rounded characters who you feel for and fall deeply in love with. Many times I could not find fault at the "wrong actions" of the characters because their motivations were very real. I would not want to be in any of the character's shoes for a moment. And to think that people like Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah Parker, Geronimo, Sitting Bull, and many others from history lived it. It was a beautiful love story, with its share of heartrending, heartbreaking, and distressing moments. Many times I wondered how a happy ending could come out of it, but I was satisfied with the ever after for the couple, although you know that future for the Comanche people is bleak. If you want to read a wonderful love story that is at times brutal but also beautiful, I heartily recommend this book. There is no question that Ms. Anderson thoroughly did her research. I checked the article on Wikipedia about the Comanche and the Comancheros and she was spot on. I can't wait to read Comanche Heart, the story about Amy and Swift Antelope. What happened to Amy is beyond distressing. It still comes to my mind and I am filled with rage. But I was thankful that she was able to move past it and find a love with Swift Antelope that I would like to get closure on. It comes out in Spring of 2009 as a rerelease. Boy am I glad that they rereleased these books.

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