Article first published as Book Review:Threads West: An American Saga by Reid Lance Rosenthal on Blogcritics.
In Threads West, by Reid Lance Rosenthal, we meet and follow a group of individuals on their journey. Each of them is from different and diverse backgrounds, with a variety of reasons drawing them to the wilderness. Johannes Svenson is a ladies man, run out of the very country he called home, caught dallying with the wife of The Frist Minister of Denmark. His journey to the new world is decided for him.
The S.S. Edinburgh is the ship, headed to a new and distant land, and it is here that Johannes meets Reuben Frank, on his way to America to claim land and begin a cattle ranch for his family. Here too we meet three unique and diverse women, all traveling on their own, an experience unwarranted and unusual in this time in the annuls of history. Sarah Bonney has lost her family and is headed to the new world to work with her aunt as a seamstress. Inga has been in the U.S for a time, and is making a living the very best way she knows how. She is a waitress, but occasionally has to sell herself to make ends meet. She has learned a hard lesson in the ways of the world, and has decided that a girl has to do what a girl has to do, to get by. Rebecca Marx is heading to the new world at the behest of her fathers will. He has found some land and she is there to claim it. She is very refined and unlike most of those traveling to find their place.
And with all the good, their usually comes the bad and in this group of individuals that meet and interact on their journey to America, we also meet Jacob O’Shanahan, a bully and a taker, one of those who feel that the world is theirs if only they can find a way to connive and steal what is worth the taking. His life too is tangles and weaved into and around the lives of those other few, all headed in the same direction, out to find their place in this new frontier.
Zebarriah Taylor, or Zeb as he is known, has his own part in this compelling and historical drama. Well inured to the ways of the west, with an understanding of the country itself, his life is drawn into and becomes a part of this group of individuals, guiding as well as helping to protect them in an aggressive and dangerous land.
Rosenthal has written a wonderful western saga, and peopled it with characters that you can care about. Each of them has internal struggles, and yet they are strong and brave, and in some cases reckless. As we follow their journey into a new land, as well as the growth of their characters, we become immersed, wanting and hoping to see them through. And while evil may be too strong of a description for Jacob, he is certainly not a very good man. The story is smooth and endearing, as they make their way. Rosenthal has drawn a likeness of the America of our history books and set it with the people that help us to understand the savage and yet ruggedly beautiful America of that time.
I am excited for the next installment of the series to come out, I am left wondering what will they find, is there really gold, and how do they come to terms with the different issues they are facing. This is an interesting and incredibly well written story, full of diverse characters and places.
If you love a good story, full of history both real and rugged, on a journey full of surprises, this is the book for you. It would be a great book for a book club, as well as for reading groups everywhere.
This book was received through the Cadence group from the publisher. All Opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the information.