Shortgrass Song

Mike Blakely, Author
Mike Blakely, Author Forge $23.95 (431p) ISBN 978-0-312-85541-3
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Country music singer Blakely (Vendetta Gold) tells a sweeping saga of a family's struggles on the Western frontier. Ab Holcomb, a hero in the Mexican War, settles in the Pike's Peak region of Colorado, where he and his family must be on guard against the elements and potentially hostile Indians. Soon they're joined by Buster, a runaway slave, and Snake Woman, a Comanche captive who was given to the slave in exchange for his harmonica. Buster, a versatile musician, quickly becomes a favorite of the Holcombs' asthmatic son Caleb, whose dreams of becoming a musician are opposed by Ab. Trouble ensues when Snake Woman kidnaps Caleb in an attempt to win back the respect of her people. With a good ear for dialogue and a keen eye for period detail, Blakeley tells of Caleb's rise as a country musician, of Ab's changing fortunes and his struggles to prevent changes in his beloved West. Song lyrics from the times, 1860 to the 1880s, enliven the narrative as actual historical events, such as the Sand Creek Massacre, hover in the background. (Nov.)
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