Spirit of the Moon

Earl Murray, Author Forge $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-86189-6
Relying upon the actual journal kept by a Nez Perce woman on an 1841 fur expedition into the far Southwest, Murray (Ghosts of the Old West) weaves a gripping tale of greed, betrayal and courage. Spirit of the Moon, the novel's narrator and main character, is being taken by her adopted French-Canadian and Mohawk father, Coquin, from her home into the unfamiliar Coyotero, the parched Apache land of the Southwest. Coquin, who works for the Hudson Bay Company, intends to have his daughter married to James Condon, the pampered scion of a rich British trader. Two trappers, Baker McLeod and a freed black slave named Jerome, join the band traveling to the unspoiled and beaver-rich Coyotero, and the life of Spirit of the Moon, who is also called Elizabeth, is changed forever. The trappers draw death to the band in the form of a Sioux raiding party, and of the cutthroat Etienne LaGrange, who aims to have the travelers' furs for himself. Complicating matters further, the betrothed Spirit of the Moon falls in love with the rugged Baker, which leads to a denouement that rings more like a sequel-promising pause than a conclusion. Murray skillfully weaves period detail and Native lore to create an engrossing tale featuring an uncommon heroine. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996
Release date: 10/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-8125-5093-1
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