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Ratings and Book Reviews (1 7 star ratings
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3.3 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    An Excellent read

    I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Tea Obreht, and Random House Publishing. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Inland is a historical novel that brings to mind an excellent fairy tale. There are times you will saunter to the next step in the story or face great leaps of motion and noise that take you by surprise. There are two stories - several Asian camel drovers and mounts come to the United States by ship. Some wise investors think they would be useful - profitable - to handle crossing the wild and wicked deserts on the way to California. By the time they arrive the men are on to some other fine scheme, there is no one there to meet the ship, so we have men and camels pretty much discarded in the southern port with no common language, no money, no idea where they were or where they needed to go. Camels, of course, would make wonderful freight haulers if a person could just portray that knowledge and if one knew how to get to the great desert areas of the west - the staked plains with ten or fifteen days between palatable water. And of course, camels were pretty frightening to residents of the south and western United States in that day and age. Most folks had not even seen a picture of a camel and those that had could not put the size of the beast into perspective. Most of these tales are told by the nicknamed 'hirsute Levantine' (though not a Turk) from Smyrna known as Misafir, as he talks to his camel Burke. And travel they do, across the south, across Texas Territory, and into Arizona, parts of Oklahoma, Maybe a little of Old Mexico and New Mexico. Then we have the story of a family who chose to settle in the Territory of Arizona in the 1890s. The father Emmett runs a small newspaper in the town of Amargo, a few tents and small buildings nestled along Big Fork Creek. Mother Nora does her best to keep her family fed and clothed and handle the farm chores - they have sheep and sometimes chickens - and grow and preserve all she can in the garden when there is water in the creek. Lately, there hasn't been water anywhere in Arizona Territory, and Emmett is three days late bringing home a shipment of much-needed water. Still living at home are their sons - Rob and Dolan in their teens and baby Toby, 8 or 9. Emmitt's mother, Gramma, is confined to a wheelchair since a stroke years ago. Josie is a teen, an orphaned girl of Emmett's family, his ward and occult cousin. Harlan is the sheriff of Amargo, and Crace is the wealthy, heartless rancher stealing all the land and water. Inland is a good story, filled with word pictures that will keep you smiling and a mystery of noble proportions. This is a book I am pleased to recommend to friends and family.
7

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