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The Golden Fury: 11/24/06
Earlier this month I purchased The Golden Fury at a bookstore called The Bookstore. I chose it because it had a lovely map on the flyleaf. It was also published in 1949 which is sort of too new for most books I like but the map won me over. In between books that I was reading for other BookCrossing members (either as rings or relays) I took the time read and enjoy The Golden Fury.
The book had moments that felt very real and the way Colorado was described as being at the start of the 20th century (1886 through 1906) reminded me a great deal of how Laura Ingalls Wilder described growing up in the Dakotas. In other words, Castle avoided many of the cliches that are rife in the Western genre. Curious, I did a quick search on Marian Castle and found a biography which confirmed my suspicions. Like Caroline, she was the daughter of a preacher and grew up in the frontier towns of Colorado. Her life though was much easier than what she created for her characters.
Here is my BookCrossing review:
The Golden Fury chronicles a woman life in Colorado, from her childhood as the impoverished daughter of a preacher too wrapped up in the word of God to care for his children, to her early marriage, time as a single mother, and later the owner of a silver mine, while all the time looking for stability and laughter in her life. Though the story is cloaked as a romance, it is written with a harsh view on reality, often times with asides from the author that mock her characters' apparent naivety.
The book's main weakness is its ending. The book ends in a Perils of Pauline fashion that completely breaks with the gritty reality of the rest of the tale. The last chapter is rife with melodrama in the form of an out of control automobile, a collapsed bridge, and a raging river! If only the book had ended in a less silly fashion I would have rated the story a 10 out 10.