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Date Posted: 16:09:10 11/29/03 Sat
Author: Syl
Subject: The Outsider

Here's the latest review - a historical western sent in by Marcie. Thanks, Marcie!

TITLE: The Outsider

AUTHOR: Penelope Williamson

GENRE: Historical romance - Western

Set in the 1880's in Montana, Rachel Yoder, a young widow, is trying to keep her sheep ranch going with the help of her young son Benjo. Rachel's husband was murdered by greedy cattle ranchers. She is a member of the religious community of the Plain People, who are non - violent and have a strong faith.

Her life is turned upside down by the appearance on her farm of a near fatally wounded gunman named Johnny Cain. She nurses him back to health and hires him to stay on through the summer sheep season. She struggles with her son Benjo's grief for his father, her family and her church's negative reactions to the outsider, added to Cain's fight against what she sees as the will of God and eventually her own attraction to Cain.

This book has so many wonderful secondary story lines that are explored, and Cainís life is one of them. Heís a gunfighter of great renown, and other tough guys are always trying to best him to further their reputations. So Cain discovers he has to kill or be killed. He is, at the same time, considered an evil murderer Ė a man beyond redemption Ė by Rachelís religious friends.

At it's core this book is the struggle of two people from very different backgrounds who want to find a way to be together. Rachelís goodness is a great contrast to Cainís wickedness but the book also has several well written subplots and wonderful secondary characters that make this well worth the read.
It was a book that was hard to put down and had several unexpected plot twists....especially the ending. If you're looking for a book that makes you smile and brings tears to your eyes this one will fit the bill. I don't usually read westerns at all. Just not my style, but the lady at the UBS had put it aside for me when it came in, so I read it. Itís a nice change of setting for me.

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[> I'm so glad that you like this book. I've posted it as one of my favorites several times. If you are not a fan of westerns you might really like her books Mortal Sins and Wages of Sin. These take place in New Orleans during the 20's. -- SusiQ, 19:03:01 12/01/03 Mon

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[> [> It was made into a movie, I think it was on Showtime. -- Gia, 10:08:06 12/02/03 Tue

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[> This sounds great! I'm adding it to my to be read list. Thanks for the review! -- Shana, 10:47:43 12/02/03 Tue

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[> I loved this book. -- Amy Hope, 11:56:51 12/05/03 Fri

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[> I read this book a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. I have read a couple of her other books and I really like how she develops the relationships between her characters. I also recommend her book Heart of the West. -- Melissa R., 00:37:19 01/03/04 Sat

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