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.