I have been introduced to so many fabulous historical fiction author since becoming a tour host with The Coffee Pot Book Club. Before we check out my review of The Search (Across the Great Divide, Book II) by Michael L. Ross, let's check out the blurb.
The guns of the Civil War have ceased firing, and the shots are but an echo... yet the war rages on, deep inside Will Crump's soul. His "soldier's heart" is searching for peace, and in that quest Will joins the westward movement, setting his path on a collision course with adventure, loss, and love.
The Westward Expansion floods the sacred, untouched lands with immigrants, bringing conflict to the Shoshone, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Amidst the chaos Will finds safety in the shadow of the US Army, but the army brings battle-hardened troops into Red Cloud's War, pulling Will into a tornado of conflict. Broken treaties and promises leave both sides searching for answers. Will's search leads him to a battle for survival, and there he finds a love that could change him forever.
Dove, a young Shoshone woman, is a survivor of the Bear Creek Massacre. After being kidnapped and escaping from the Cheyenne, she joins Will's search, seeking where she belongs. Dove longs for more than the restricted role placed on women in her tribe. If she can learn to trust a white man, he just might help her find home... and hope.
Together, Will and Dove must search for understanding, and reach Across the Great Divide.
It has been a long time since a book has left me utterly speechless. When I turned the last page of The Search, I took a moment to let the events that I had just witnessed between the pages wash over me. I found it impossible to put into words how moving this novel is and so, I went for a walk, hoping to clear my head so I could put pen to paper and give this book the praise that it so deserves.
Set during the latter half of the 19th Century, this story follows Will Crump—an ex-Soldier of The Confederate States Army. Will's life has been shattered by the things he had seen during the war, the things he had done. He is tortured with the guilt of one that survived when so many of his friends had died. In an attempt to hide from the madness that threatens to consume him, Will decides to head to the mountains in the hope that the solitude will help mend the terrible pain that scars his heart so brutally.
Will's journey is heartbreakingly tragic. A sharpshooter who is now terrified of firing a gun, for the noise brings back terrible flashbacks—how could one not sympathise with his situation? Unfortunately for Will, he finds himself thrust into a very different kind of war. This time the guns are aimed at the natives who are daring to fight for the rights to remain on the ancestral lands of their forefathers. Oh, Will, I wept as his story unfolded in front of me. His desperate desire for peace is hampered by the reality of the American Indian Wars, and to make matters worse he finds himself falling in love with a woman from the Shoshone tribe. Dove is a woman he has no right to love for they are from such vastly different words, but what his head says and what his heart demands are two very different things.
This story really broke my heart, but at the same time, it was a story that I could not turn away from. It is such a beautifully drawn story where love and war follow the same despairing path of uncertainty. I was so swept up in the story that time ceased to matter. This is one of those books that once read, can never be forgotten. Without a shadow of a doubt, it is one of the most enthralling books that I have ever read.
If you are looking for a novel filled with romance, suspense, drama, and the heartbreak of war, then this book should definitely be on your to-read list for 2021.
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Michael L. Ross
Michael attended Rice University as an undergraduate, and Portland State University for his graduate degree. He has degrees in computer science, software engineering, and German. In his spare time, Michael loves to go fishing, riding horses, and play with his grandchildren, who are currently all under six years old.
He sees many parallels between the time of the Civil War and our divided nation of today. Sanctuary cities, immigration, arguments around the holiday table, threats of secession - all are nothing new. Sometimes, to understand the present, you have to look at the past- and reach Across the Great Divide.
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