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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Reviewer of Western Novels Gives Nod to Detour Trail

Detour Trail
Author: Joy V. Smith
Fiction: Western / Historical Novel
ISBN 978-1612355702
Purchase Detour Trail at the publisher or Amazon

Reviewed by Bill S originally for Julies Book Reviews
It's rare that you find a Western written by woman. Maybe that's why it's been labeled an historical novel as well as a western.  Historical novels often have a character from history play a part in the story. I don't think that's true in this novel unless I missed something. It's not important. What is important is that the story rings true and this one does.
The western novels I've read have usually been written by men with an emphasis on the "wild and wooly" dimension of the Wild West. The "Detour Trail" has plenty of violent moments but what I also found engaging was the emphasis Ms. Smith gave to the town building and housekeeping aspects of what pioneers had to do.
Many novels and films today make their female protagonists equal or superior to men when it comes to defending themselves. Lorena Emerson, the lead woman in this novel, is one of them. What I like about her is she's a balanced character. Tough as nails when she has to be with a warm and caring touch when needed. Women have been homemakers because of childbearing, but there is much cultural evidence of their history as leaders in community development. Too bad so many  men don't share.
Like all westerns I've read there are good guys and bad buys including renegade native Americans. What I found here that I didn't find in others was what went on when it came time to build a community. How people worked together and learned to respect the differences among themselves. In that regard there is a lesson for what's going on today in the streets and even the churches.

Besides writing a good story Joy V. Smith has given us something to think about when it comes to the respect most pioneers had for each other. More than a history lesson the respect shown in the characters of the "Detour Trail" is needed in the here and now.
4 Stars

Joy V. Pagadan also blogs media tidbits at

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