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What Lies West: A Novel of the American Frontier Paperback – December 11, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 628 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (December 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440190844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440190841
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,548,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

LaDene Morton is a professional writer, researcher, and the author of several non-fiction works. She spends her free time traveling and has lived along the Oregon Trail all her life. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her partner, Roger, and two cats. This is her first work of fiction.

More About the Author

LaDene Morton is a writer of fiction and non-fiction in all their various forms. For the past thirty years, she spent her writing energies helping the non-profit world navigate through plans, changes, strategies and initiatives using her many and various talents of writing, analysis and presentation, all rolled up into story-telling forms. For the past ten of those thirty years, LaDene has turned her focus to publishing. Her first major work of fiction, What Lies West, is a homage to all the elements she loves about the western stories she grew up with in film and television. For that effort, she couldn't have been more delighted to have the book named a WILLA Literary Award Finalist in 2010 from Women Writing the West.

Most recently, she's turned her attention to her current home town of Kansas City, itself a place rich in western history. Her two recent books from The History Press draw out the stories of two of Kansas City's most well-known and beloved neighborhoods, Brookside and Waldo. These books have helped her create a following and keep her out in community, where she finds constant ideas for future projects. Her current works-in-progress include another non-fiction history, a Holocaust survivor biography, two novels set again in the mythical American West, and several other ideas that simply won't leave her alone. She couldn't be happier.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David S. Buck on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a great read. Be prepared to stop everything you are doing because this is one compelling book you won't want to put down for awhile. In particular, the author, LaDene Morton, writes wonderful, believable dialogue that pulls you into the story. It's not often you find a heroine like this one. I couldn't believe... this is her first book! What's next? Read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Ree on February 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Lina Clark, the heroine of What Lies West, and think women of all ages will be inspired by her. With little but her intelligence, hard-working nature and desire to support herself as an independent young woman, Lina navigates her way across country by wagon train, through gold rush camps, San Francisco's rapid-growth merchant and social community, and even an Oregon lumber settlement. She finds herself and love along the way. Lina is an admirable role-model for anyone who enjoys 19th century history, adventure, and a good story of a young woman succeeding against the odds. An enjoyable read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Carolina (Lina) Clark is offered the opportunity to head west from Missouri on a wagon train, it is a prospect she hardly has time to consider. Recently widowed and left more or less destitute by a dreamer of a husband, there seem to be no other options coming her way. And so begins a journey that takes Lina across the Great Plains to the gold diggings of California and on to the bustling metropolis of San Francisco where the young woman mistakenly believes she may be able to put down roots. But the "Lies" of the title has a double meaning, and it is Lina's search for a life without deceit that leads her on to find a place where she truly can be happy.
Morton has done a monumental job of research for 'What Lies West,' and it is not lost on the reader. We can feel the dust of the plains, smell the salt air of the San Francisco docks and hear the silence of a northern woodland. This makes for a powerful novel that also manages to engage the reader with well-drawn characters who come in and out of Lina's life on her journey, much as people do in real life. While this might prove less than satisfying to some readers, I found the concentration on the main character helped to involve the reader with the book, and compensated for this loss. What I did feel, however, was that certain characters, including Lina herself, lacked creditable validation for some of their actions, thereby making said actions less than believable.
Still and all, 'What Lies West' was a book I looked forward to reading each day and was sorry when it ended. One can't say more than that.
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