It’s been a minute, since my last post, but these last couple weekends have been so, so busy that I haven’t had a spare minute to think, much less blog! But fear not, because I am back, and I have a new book to review for all my fellow bibliophiles.
I have been reading this book for what seems like foreeevvveeer. Its not that it wasn’t a good book, it just has so many parts to it and is not the genre I am used to, so it took me a little bit to settle in to the dialogue and the setting, etc.
As a Western, The Poacher’s Daughter ticked all the boxes. With a strong lead character, the olden days of Indians and homesteaders fill the pages. Growing cities are set against a back drop of thievery and violence, as expected from a Western. Saloons and taverns and plains are filled with the everyday bustle of the ever growing West.
Zimmer also explores feminism during a time when the concept was likely foreign. His protagonist, Rose Edwards, defies all stereotypes of a pioneer woman. After burying her husband, she joins up with some friends, a gang of horse thieves that used to visit her no-good husband. That opens up her passage into the world of thieving, and during one of her rides she makes friends with some ladies at a whorehouse. Despite the stigma surrounding such a profession, Rose makes friends with them, and both she and Nora, one of her closest friends, are able to start a small cattle business.
Their failure is not a result of them being women, but a result of violence and abuse of power from richer and better known individuals in the area. It was quite refreshing to read about a woman that was able to survive and be well known in an area often dominated by men.
However, at times, Rose was also less emotional than a woman would normally be. It is somewhat hard to make that claim; I am not saying all women are emotional and moody, but the character that Zimmer created was either completely emotionless, or had extremely stilted, unnatural emotions. The beginning of the novel was especially so. I cry very easily, usually from reading about the character’s response to a death, etc. However, despite all the death and loss in the two or so years that I followed Rose’s life journey, each death or loss left me feeling either indifferent or just in a slight shock. Perhaps some people enjoy reading about someone who rolls with the punches. For me, it was a little too stale.
In other words, the book was a good historical representation of what was likely the norm for a female trying to make her way in a male dominated world, but was also a little bit emotionally stilted. Give it a shot, and let me know what you think of the way that the emotions in the book are portrayed.