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The Missing de Thomas Eidson
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The Missing (1995 original; edició 2004)

de Thomas Eidson

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1464143,469 (3.57)4
A novel of the American West narrates the story of a dying man's attempts to make peace with his daughter, their struggle to rescue his granddaughter from renegades and slave traders, and his lifelong search for inner peace. The Last Ride is the story of Maggie Gilkeson, a young woman raising her two daughters in an isolated and lawless wilderness. When her oldest daughter is kidnapped by a psychopathic killer with mystical powers, Maggie is forced to re-unite with her long estranged father to rescue her. The killer and his brutal cult of desperados have kidnapped several other teenage girls, leaving a trail of death and horror across the desolate landscape of the American Southwest. Maggie and her father are in a race against time to catch up with the renegades and save her daughter, before they cross the Mexican border and disappear forever. The Last Ride is the story of a race against time and death, a powerful tale of rescue and reconciliation that provides a haunting insight into our instincts of kinship and need for beliefs.… (més)
Membre:Lezzles
Títol:The Missing
Autors:Thomas Eidson
Informació:HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2004), Edition: New Ed, Paperback
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:***
Etiquetes:western, wild west, apache

Detalls de l'obra

The Last Ride de Thomas Eidson (1995)

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This is the second part of the St Agnes trilogy, although after reading both books I can't really see any direct link besides the western theme and point in time. This book was also released under the title 'The Missing' and I believe made into a film of the same name.

The Last Ride follows a dying man's (Samuel Jones) return to a daughter (Maggie) that he abandoned many years ago in the hope of making, if not amends, then a friendship going forward. However, this is not any ordinary return as Samuel has lived his life as an Apache warrior/Indian Shamen and seemingly has many of their powers. Invited into the family home by the husband of Maggie she is initially hostile to allowing Jones into her and her children's lives. This changes when an attack by a crippled Apache sees her daughter kidnapped and husband severely injured. Coupled with her youngest daughter Dot, she must grudgingly follow her ailing parent across the vast desert plains in the hope of finding Lily alive and bringing her home.

There were many parts of this novel I absolutely loved. The descriptions of the surroundings really made you feel as if you were there and I assume Eidson must have spent a portion of his life in this environment to allow such a connection to come across the page. I enjoyed the characterisation of Jones, but even more so that of the animals involved, his old horse trudging loyally with her master through whatever danger shows itself, you really feel sorry and proud at the same time, rarely for me I actually hated turning the page at times to see if she would survive. The other point that draws me to Eidson as a writer is that he isn't afraid to show the violence on both sides of the coin, whether it is Indians massacring the white man or vice versa. These were not the one sided slaughter of innocents that many people would have you believe today, with atrocities committed from all angles.

So what issues did I have? Well firstly I am not entirely sure what genre of book the author is trying to write? The blurb makes it seem a pretty straight forward western, but at times it seemed almost fantasy with magic and second sight guiding Jones. This is ok, but could sometimes be a little bit of a turnoff, especially when you are lost in the reality of the tale. I can see why maybe lovers of books like True Grit may be disgruntled if they read and expect a more straightforward rough and tumble wild west plot.

All in all I really enjoyed the read, and will be buying the third in the trilogy. As previously mentioned, there is no real tangible link to the first book so can be read as a stand alone novel. ( )
  Bridgey | Jan 21, 2021 |
this is not your ordinary western novel. It is a bit fantasy, magic, some horror and a decent story.

A white man, Samuel Jones, who lived most of his later life as an Apache warrior after leaving his white family has returned to his oldest daughter Maggie from a time when he lived in a white world. He is dying and came to say good bye but he is spurned by Maggie as a father who left her and her family to return to his Indian ways.

Maggie's daughter, Lily, is captured by renegade Apaches. Jones, Maggie and Dot set off after them to rescue her from a life of slavery.

The characters are well developed but I did not like Maggie too much. Judgmental, head strong and constantly chirping at her father for leaving her family and trying to influence her daughter, Dot. This eventually changes thank God.

The story has threads of believable sequences but it is hard to believe that a man who is dying could have so much stamina. It is well written though at times drags in the middle .... mainly due to the harping character of Maggie. It got to the point that several times I looked at the author's name to verify it was a male author and not a female author with a feminist agenda.

An interesting read over all. ( )
  Lynxear | Mar 12, 2015 |
This was a touching story full of so much heartbreak.

In a nutshell: Samuel Jones, who had abandoned his white family 30 years before to live with an Apache woman, returns to his daughter, Maggie Baldwin, in order to make peace with her before he dies (of tuberculosis, I believe). She is not receptive. Maggie's husband is shot and one of her daughters is taken captive by renegade Apaches who have left the reservation. Even though Maggie wants nothing to do with Jones "or his heathen ways", she has no choice but to rely on him to help rescue the girl. This story is about the journey taken together and about the meaning of family, love and loyalty. There is also a thought-provoking spiritual component as well.

I wasn't totally fond of Maggie for several different reasons that didn't sit right with me. I understood where her anger and lack of forgiveness toward Jones came from, but her rudeness, lack of charity, and unceasing intolerance to his personal beliefs grated on me. I wanted him to tell her to, "Grow up!". I found her to be too selfish and coldhearted. She didn't seem to be overly affected by tragedies other people suffered in the quest to rescue her daughter. I also couldn't understand how she, as a mother, could keep sending her 10-year-old daughter off on her own out in the middle of the scorching desert and Apache country to boot. That just didn't make sense to me, especially considering that throughout all of their time traveling together they were trying to avoid being spotted by the Apaches and Mexican banditos who were causing so much trouble in the area.

I know the author was trying to honor how strong the pioneering women were, but I didn't get that from Maggie. I got it much more from her 10-year-old daughter. I would love to read a sequel about her life down the road and how she moves forward with the knowledge she's gained from Jones.

I found it interesting how Jones melded different facets of the various tribes he befriended over the years, which was evident in the combination of religious and ceremonial practices (prayers, chanting, smoke, burning sage, body paint, communication with animals, etc.) and the different pieces of clothing he wore i.e. some Apache, some Lakota Sioux, some Cheyenne, etc.. I am truly curious how different tribal nations would have looked at a "White Eyes" who did this. Would they be offended?

I really enjoyed this book. Other than my dislike for Maggie (which was the only thing about this book I didn't like because it distracted me), I enjoyed all the other characters, even the strange and evil Lame One. Well, I didn't LIKE him, but I enjoyed getting a peek into his head. That sure had the creepiness of a horror movie(!) but how the rest of the story was told really gave me the feel of a true old western. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Jan 16, 2013 |
Good suspenseful Western with among-the-Indian living grandfather seeking to rescue captured granddaughter. Movie is not bad, but book is more satisfying to me. ( )
  kcslade | Sep 17, 2008 |
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A novel of the American West narrates the story of a dying man's attempts to make peace with his daughter, their struggle to rescue his granddaughter from renegades and slave traders, and his lifelong search for inner peace. The Last Ride is the story of Maggie Gilkeson, a young woman raising her two daughters in an isolated and lawless wilderness. When her oldest daughter is kidnapped by a psychopathic killer with mystical powers, Maggie is forced to re-unite with her long estranged father to rescue her. The killer and his brutal cult of desperados have kidnapped several other teenage girls, leaving a trail of death and horror across the desolate landscape of the American Southwest. Maggie and her father are in a race against time to catch up with the renegades and save her daughter, before they cross the Mexican border and disappear forever. The Last Ride is the story of a race against time and death, a powerful tale of rescue and reconciliation that provides a haunting insight into our instincts of kinship and need for beliefs.

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