Barnabas Sackett returns to England, from America, on a trading trip. But a man who has never harmed the returnee, Tom warns Barnabas about the Queen's men , ruffians , in fact, and are after him. Trusted by Sackett, all this just because he found some old Roman coins, the poor man sold them, to pay for his voyage to the new world. Watkins joins Sackett, America sounds pretty good, better than the gallows, thinks the outlaw .
I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. To the Far Blue Mountains continues the story of Barnabas Sackett. The sweeping scope of the story is told through the experiences of one man, Barnabas. The story is told respectfully too, which I appreciate. Part of the appeal of this series (and I suspect I will read them all now) is that I like stories that follow a family or person through time. Finally, the fact that rascals and bad actors did not always get what was coming to them contributes to my enjoyment of the book. The book was written in a very different America.
So while Barnabas is fun to be with, I had a hard time engaging fully with the book. Which could have worked fine if there had been a central antagonist, but that didn't happen, either. Indeed, the biggest problem with the book is that the antagonists are kind of a blur with first one man and then another and another with some of them recurring, but none of them really of enough stature to challenge Barnabas for long. And on levels I'm a little surprised to see from L'Amour, who I generally consider a superb storyteller.
There is enough for all." I love this exchange between Barnabas Sackett, gonnabe American pioneer, and the man he's leaving behind to work his tiny plot of land in England's famous fens. It's a moment that all but sings with romance and makes the reader want to have been there to sail off with Barnabas, even though that reader knows that yesterday's frontier became today's suburban franchise ghetto and, while there is actually enough for all, the dream of all getting to share in it is far from realized. All that experimentation is far in the future for America and the Sacketts. Which is to say that Barnabas spends the first chunk of this novel (again) in what I like to call "Doctor Who jeopardy"***. And while he's got him a wife all picked out, the beautiful and tough Abigail (who fought off pirates off the coast of India when she was just 13, apparently), his female companion for a lot of the best bits of this novel would make him a fine match, too. Oh, if you don't love Lila, Abigail's maidservant who got left behind when Abigail and her father sailed for America but who bulls her way into chasing after her with Barnabas, you don't love strong women. It's a pity that she more or less disappears, for huge chunks of the novel, but this is Barnabas' story, and he's got a lot going on. Like fighting off pirates.
Truly a fascinating book!
I enjoyed this book, even as it drove me buggy.
The men are rugged yet sensitive, and the women are rugged and refined. I have been wanting to read this book for a while because the Sackett series is legendary as one of the best.
Nicmén i tak se tím na dalí píbhy této rodiny.