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Beyond the Rio Gila is, quite simply, a compelling coming-of-age story that brings history to life. It’s highly recommended reading that should be in any collection strong in historical novels.
—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
This literary historical novel follows the U.S. Army and a Mormon Battalion—with families in tow—on an 1840s perilous trek across the daunting wilderness of the American frontier—the longest march in U.S. infantry history. Part adventure, part coming-of-age, part military history—their story is a unique challenge of human resilience. This cast of engaging characters includes: an alcoholic eastern intellectual, a young man running to and from love, pregnant Mormon women fleeing religious persecution, and stoic Army officers, each with distinctive stories and voices, who share humor, hardship, and intrepid perseverance.
As an enthusiastic history buff, I was captivated by the retelling of this epic military expedition and its significance in the unfolding formation of the United States.
—Susan Brown, Pacific Book Review
From the pages:
"He closed the journal and thought again he suffered the heart of a poet and the dreams of a romantic, the hope that only the young have. The wonder. The mystery. The sense of adventure. The belief that he was special. One of the youngest graduates of West Point. An officer of horse. A lieutenant of dragoons in the bloom of manhood. Tall. Attractive in the eyes of women. Scion to one of the first families of the Old Dominion. Life seemed so rich and full of promise then."