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The poacher's daughter
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"Synopsis : In 1885, young Rose Edwards is widowed by Montana vigilantes who hang her husband for an alleged theft, then burn her Yellowstone Valley cabin to the ground as a warning for her and others of her kind to quit the territory. Penniless and illiterate, yet fiercely independent, Rose begins a two-year odyssey to revisit the land of her childhood, a land she once traveled with her father, an itinerant robe trader among the Assiniboines and Blackfeet. But the old ways of the hunter and trapper are disappearing. European investors are flooding the bison ranges with vast herds of cattle, raising mansions and polo fields on ground once claimed by teepees and sod-roofed hunters' shacks. With an aging roan gelding named Albert as her closest friend, Rose finds herself a reluctant hero in an ageless battle, the face of an indigenous population, both native and white, as she stubbornly pushes back against the invading aristocracy. And hanging over her every decision is an alcoholic father, who hunts bisoninside the newly formed Yellowstone National Park, selling the mounted heads and tanned robes to Eastern tourists even as his daughter makes her stand against the destruction of the land she loves"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

After Montana vigilantes murder her husband and burn their cabin to the ground, Rose Edwards begins a two-year odyssey to revisit the land of her childhood, where she witnesses the changing of the landscape from frontier to aristocratic developments. - (Baker & Taylor)

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*Starred Review* Rose Edwards takes up with two horse thieves after vigilantes kill her ne'er-do-well husband, Muggy, and burn down her cabin. Rose owns the land, a pretty Montana homestead, but now she's penniless. The horse thieves are not quite as worthless as Muggy, and for them to invite her along is an act of kindness. What's more, Rose is strong and an expert shot with her big Sharps rifle. She rides with the rustlers, ensuring her place on a list kept by the mysterious Regulators. At last, weary of being pursued, Rose takes refuge in a whorehouse. She meets Nora Alder, and the two women pool their resources and their bitterness to begin a ranch on Nora's homestead. They might make a go of it but for the historic winter of 1886, which Zimmer describes in brutal, moving detail. With their herd wiped out, Rose and Nora are crowded by a corporate ranch wanting their water. The Regulators, hired by the corporation, attack the homestead in Rose's absence, leaving death and destruction in their wake and prompting Rose to become "Rose of Yellowstone," giving over her life to revenge upon rapists, killers, and corporations. Rose is a beautiful composite of frontier women, some famous, some not; Zimmer's great strength is that he doesn't make his heroine anything other than an ordinary, decent woman who never had any luck. She falls so low, she has nothing to lose and can become a pure spirit, and an avenger of the weak. Think of Luke Short for action and Ernest Haycox for his sweeping style. All westerns should be this good. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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