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Publisher's Summary

A vivid and revelatory novel based on actual events of the 1847 Oregon migration, A Sudden Country follows two characters of remarkable complexity and strength in a journey of survival and redemption. James MacLaren, once a resourceful and ambitious Hudson's Bay Company trader, has renounced his aspirations for a quiet family life in the Bitterroot wilderness. Yet his life is overturned in the winter of 1846, when his Nez Perce wife deserts him and his children die of smallpox. In the grip of a profound sorrow, MacLaren, whose home once spanned a continent, sets out to find his wife. But an act of secret vengeance changes his course, introducing him to a different wife and mother: Lucy Mitchell, journeying westward with her family.
Lucy, a remarried widow, careful mother, and reluctant emigrant, is drawn at once to the self-possessed MacLaren. Convinced that he is the key to her family's safe passage, she persuades her husband to employ him. As their hidden stories and obsessions unfold, and pasts and cultures collide, both Lucy and MacLaren must confront the people they have truly been, are, and may become.
Alive with incident and insight, presenting with rare scope and intimacy the complex relations among nineteenth-century traders, immigrants, and Native Americans, A Sudden Country is, above all, a heroic and unforgettable story of love and loss, sacrifice and understanding.
©2005 Karen Fisher (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A grand, mesmerizing novel....Fisher brilliantly illuminates both the tragedy and the new life wrought by manifest destiny. This is a great novel of the American West." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fisher's love of the land and history of the western U.S. shows through every line of this story based on her family's history. A serious, finely written novel." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer Hall on 10-17-05

Eloquent simplicity

I loved listening to this book. The story is gripping, with two flawed and complex protagonists whose lives intersect and then diverge again. The prose is simple, yet somehow reveals emotional depth and conveys both the joys and the horrors of life along the Oregon Trail. The narrator's understated performance matches the writing perfectly.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Randy on 09-07-06

Puts you to sleep!

The reader is in need of lessons. After two hours of the book I realized I knew nothing of what the book was about. If the reader could changer her voice for the different characters it would help.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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