Sunday, August 16, 2020

My Favorite Book, Part 23.

One of the great stories of the Old West is the life of Cynthia Ann Parker. And the best telling of the story is the novel Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson.

 At about age nine, the Texas girl was kidnapped by Comanche raiders during an attack on her extended family. Her introduction to Comanche ways was brutal, but she was accepted by the band and adapted to their ways, eventually becoming the wife of a leader, and giving birth to one of the most famous Comanche leaders, known to history as Quanah Parker.

Robson’s research digs deep into the era, particularly the minute details of day-to-day Comanche life. But that research never gets in the way of her telling a compelling, absorbing, riveting story. The book’s title comes from the author’s knowledge of Cynthia Ann—Naduah, to the Comanche—as one of the horses she rode was called Wind. 

When “rescued” by Texas Rangers after some twenty-four years living as a Comanche, Cynthia Ann Parker never fit into white society and died, some say of a broken heart, following the death of her Comanche daughter, Prairie Flower.

Ride the Wind won the Western Writers of America Spur Award, and numerous other accolades, when published in 1982, and has remained popular ever since, and remains in print. As it should.

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