I wasn’t too sure about this. Catherine’s Travels is a story set in the nineteenth century. Catherine is kidnapped by her husband’s enemy. His intention is that she will never see her three children or husband again. Catherine and her captor travel for weeks on end across bleak and dangerous Navajo land as she hopes and prays for rescue.
I was rather unsettled by the interruption of blocks of factual information. The story ambles along nicely, then all of a sudden, the narrative changes from the third person to the author’s POV, and history is brought to the present day. The history is indeed interesting, but I would have preferred a synopsis at the end so that the choice was mine whether or not to read it. I haven’t been able to decide if this is a story based around fact, or fact moulded around a story.
As for the story, if you like saccharine, then this is for you. It was a little too sickly for my tastes. Catherine was a little too perfect to be true, and I found it hard to understand why she didn’t try to escape from her loathsome captor. She seemed to enjoy her travels just a tad too incredibly, and some aspects of the story were a little hurried.
However, the author has clearly done a good deal of research, and the authenticity of the dialogue and description of life at the time is very impressive. The book is a sequel, and for the most part stands alone. I had to make a few assumptions along the way, but this didn’t mar the essence of the story.
Nevertheless, I did find myself rather embroiled in the story and found myself rather captivated by the setting: there’s something rather appealing, even enchanting, about the culture of American Indians.