- File Size: 2271 KB
- Print Length: 292 pages
- Publisher: AuthorHouse (December 7, 2010)
- Publication Date: December 7, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B079573GYC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,325,054 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Light on a Distant Hill: A Novel of the Indian West Kindle Edition
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Showing 1-8 of 9 reviews
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When a bridge washes out and the train's passengers must decamp to cross the river and meet a second train sent to carry the passengers from the other side of the bridge, the travelers are attacked by an Indian band.
Ellen, the young bride, is captured by Shoshone Indians and taken back to their village where she is nursed back to health. In that process, she discovers the beauty and humanitarian nature of Native Americans in their spiritual connections and deeply humane impulses. And, as you can guess, she falls in love with a powerful young Chief, Bear Paws, who has all those wonderful characteristics as well as the purely physical attributes of a star-quality Hollywood romantic lead. Bear Paws and Ellen soon realize that their attraction is mutual and the novel is then enhanced by the tensions of race and multiple Army attacks upon Indian settlements throughout the west. These attacks (aka massacres) draw the reader into the story, cheering the good Indians who are innocent victims set upon by blood thirsty army troops, and land hungry settlers who want their territory.
As she learns the customs and culture of Native Americans, with its deeply spiritual qualities, Ellen adopts the Shoshone as her family, and marries Bear Paws, the brave young chief. For her many good works, the tribe accepts her, indeed reveres her as a courageous figure with iconic stature.
This story could not be told without a great deal of suffering, the blood and gore of armed conflict and fields littered with bodies. Author Scott's style is not heavily embroidered, thus his often rather reportorial prose carries more impact with its lean, direct sentences. That style is partially responsible for the tension that Scott maintains throughout the book as the conflict between white man and red, suspicious and double dealing, continues with disastrous consequences for the indigenous people who lose their hunting grounds, their land, even their culture.
At last, Ellen herself is arrested and charged with murder for having killed a white soldier in defending her husband. Scott's development of believable characters and his attention to historical detail are awesome in "Light on a Distant Hill" which keeps us engrossed in this nail biting plot. The characters are made more sympathetic by his inclusion of details of culture, health and healing, women's work, marriage ceremony, etc. In all, this is a book that will leave you richer for the emotional experience as well as what you learn inside the story about the people who were after all our true American forefathers.
At the age of sixteen, Ellen learns about conflict, cruelty, and injustice. She also learns about love, and hatred in a battle for survival. The author paints a portrait of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most important, this gripping, heartfelt story portrays the horrifying consequences of the indigenous people who lost everything and the courage of one woman, who stood strong until the end.
The colorful characters bring this story to life in a perfect setting as we learn about brutality, savages, and innocent victims. "LIGHT ON A DISTANT HILL" is as intriguing as Besieged, as thrilling as The Courage Of Love, and as entertaining as The Feast Of All Saints. Highly recommended!
Ellen O'Hara, the principle character, is another of Scott's strong women pioneer stories. Ellen sets out from Salina, Kansas in 1876 by steamer and then by rail to become the bride of a US Military officer in Walla Walla, Washington. Due to a washed out bridge in Nevada she and others are carried by stage coach to a new point of departure but upon the way are assaulted by a tribe of Indians and all are killed except for her. This is Ellen's story of survival on the plains and her eventual absorption into a tribe of Shoshone.
The story moves quickly and just when you begin to see the story unfold, conditions change and the story takes off in a new direction. The writing is engaging, imminently readable and moves through scenes and the episodes of life involving love, treachery and savagery. This novel is a great bedside read and page turner with surprising turns of events that keeps the reader engaged to the very end. While this is not a historic novel based on real characters and actual events, it is nevertheless a sympathetic voice for the plight of native Americans who were subjected to invasion, exploitation and deceit.