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Cherokee Rose Paperback – April 1, 1996
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As a young girl in the Oklahoma of the late 1800s, Tommy Jo Burns chooses ropin' and ridin' with the boys on the ranch over cooking in the kitchen with Mama Jess. Soon she is Cowgirl Burns and has earned an audience with President Teddy Roosevelt. The presidential imprimatur launches a career in which Burns travels the world as a starring member of Wild West shows, known now as Cherokee Rose. As she did in Libbie (1994), author Alter melds romance and western genres effectively, taking Cherokee on the road to adventure, romance, and the inevitable sense of something missing. The portrayal of Cherokee, we are told, represents a fictional composite of a small group of women who lived lives of personal adventure while in their own way advancing the status of women in an America that hadn't quite outgrown the frontier. The social significance is a bonus, but above all, this is an entertaining novel with a memorable heroine and great passion for life. Wes Lukowsky
From the Inside Flap
Raised on an Oklahoma ranch where her father taught her to rope and ride, Tommy Jo Burns knew she was destined for greatness. At fourteen she so impressed Teddy Roosevelt that he dubbed her America's first cowgirl. Filled with dreams of joining a Wild West show, she left her parents to create her own family of friends on the road with Colonel Zack Miller's 101 Ranch Show. It was a new and exciting life so she took a new name: Cherokee Rose.
Cherokee Rose's adventures would bring many different men into her life. She could rope with the best of them and she got tangled with a few: the awkward ranch hand, Bill Rodgers, who emerged on the show circuit as Will Rodgers; a handsome husband who resented her fame; a wealthy gambler who taught her to follow her heart. Filled with the excitement of the unconventional, Cherokee Rose captures the essence of this celebrated woman of the West. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The ‘quality’ of the writing is another thing. ‘Good writing’, for me, is writing which involves my mind in the story. Skillful use of language is, of course, important for this, but the illusion of reality in both the characters or the plot is probably even more critical. Unfortunately for me, almost all genre literature which is currently being written fails to create this ‘illusion of reality’ in either the characters or the plot, and therefore I find it boring.
But, of late, I have found a genre that seems to work the way it should for me, at least a lot of the time. It takes me out of my own life and time and puts me in a world where the problems (although familiar and understandable) don’t seem insurmountable. It is actually what I guess I would call a ‘sub-genre’, fiction about late nineteenth century women on what was still pretty much the ‘frontier’, the next generation after pioneers. They are individual problems about family and about economic survival, very familiar types of problems, but seen through eyes that seem fresher. The stories always turn out the way the reader hopes they will, and all the same they are believable.
This book, ‘Cherokee Rose’ may be my favorite example of this type of book. It was surprisingly exciting for me to read it. It is possible that the use of the name ‘Cherokee’, which the main protagonist adopted, but which my parents gave to me, helped me identify with the girl who learned to rope cattle so well that she was invited to tea with Theodore Roosevelt, but I don’t think so. I liked the first part of the book when she was called ‘Thomasina’ even better than the part about her career in the show business of the times. It made me believe in a world where there was room for many more ambitions than the current world seems to recognize. It was a world where being a ‘lady’ was, if anything, an even more suffocating experience for many people than going through the requisite sixteen or more years of formal education is today, but some women didn’t feel they had to be ‘ladies’. Ambition and excitement wasn’t all about money.
I’ve been reading a lot of fiction lately, because I seem to need to read fiction. This relatively simple story of a girl from Oklahoma at the cusp of the twentieth century was the most enjoyable example of fiction I have found.