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Ride the Wind by Lucia St Clair Robson
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Ride the Wind (edition 1985)

by Lucia St Clair Robson

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2571344,496 (4.36)52
Member:Zumbanista
Title:Ride the Wind
Authors:Lucia St Clair Robson
Info:Ballantine Books (1985), Mass Market Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012 Reads
Rating:*****
Tags:Historical Fiction, Western, Comanche

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Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. (As I get older I need to keep a notebook to follow the Indian names!)
This was a very detailed book on Indian life and I just loved reading the exact details of how the Indian women did things in their daily lives. I have a new respect for Native Americans and am ashamed at how the americans treated them. ( )
  Strawberryga | Dec 28, 2013 |
The fictionalized story of Cynthia Ann Parker's abduction and life among the Comanche. Very little detail is known about Cynthia Ann's life, other than that she was abducted at age 9, adopted and brought up by a Tenowish Comanche family, married Chief Peta Nocona (for whom the fearsome Noconi band was named), had three children (one of which was Quanah Parker, the last of the Comanche Chiefs to surrender and enter a reservation), and was recaptured and returned to her birth family at age 34 where she tried and failed to escape and where she, after her daughter's death, was so unhappy that she starved herself to death.

Obviously, the descriptions of Cynthia Ann's day-to-day tribal life are purely fictional - she never described any of the events - but because of the author's great knowledge of Native American life, every little detail rings true. It may not be an exact description of what Cynthia Ann experienced, but it is a great description of a collective experience - if you want to know how the Comanche (and other tribes) lived without resorting to straight history books, this is perfect. Details (and there are loads of them) of how they trained and rode horses, how they made camp, raided, cooked, celebrated, worshipped, courted, gave birth, hosted friends, raised children, and (ferociously) fought their enemies, are all integrated into the overall narrative.

Robson isn't a sentimental writer, so the descriptions of the hardships - on all sides - are described in quite gruesome details. Life on the prairie may be romanticized by Wild West movies, but it was harsher than harsh and most of us wouldn't have lasted a season. A few parts of the book do tend toward the romantic (and the book cover is beyond BAD), but not too much - they read more like a tribute to how happy Cynthia Ann and Peta Nocona's marriage was, made evident by the fact that he never took another wife, which would have been traditional for a great chieftain. Overall, it's a well-researched story about the end of traditional Native American life, with all the proverbial good, bad and ugly inherent in its history. ( )
8 vote -Eva- | Jan 19, 2013 |
A Must-Read Western Saga

The author, Lucia St. Clair Robson, has created a masterpiece of historical fiction. There is great storytelling and a remarkable amount of research in this heartbreaking novelization of the life of Cynthia Ann Parker (Naduah), abducted as a child by the Comanches.

Although nothing much is known about Naduah during the period covered in Ride the Wind, Robson creates strong characters that spring to life and are long remembered after you've put the book down. I learned a lot about the day to day life of the Comanches, their warfare, customs, family relationships and nomadic lifestyle.

Be warned the book is very graphic and not recommended for the faint hearted. The cruelty is sickening, but to balance, there are many acts of love and kindness as well. The author strikes a note of fairness in her writing which elevates the novel beyond the usual finger-pointing and knee-jerk, bleeding heart narratives contained in much of this genre. This is not your typical good guys vs bad guys Western.

Knowing Naduah’s unhappy outcome beforehand, I approached the ending of the book with dread. After a weeks’ long gap, I came to the final sections of the book to find it was all wrapped up rather quickly and neatly with limited sentimentality. After my long journey reading Ride the Wind, the author let the previous chapters speak out instead of inserting over-the-top melodrama into the ending. I admire Ms. Robson for this as it made for a much stronger finish to the story.

There are a few other fictionalized accounts of Parker's life story available and I will likely seek these out. However, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find another book to rival Ride the Wind's sheer emotional intensity. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the Old West. ( )
  Zumbanista | Nov 16, 2012 |
Been many years since the first time I read this, I have read it many times since and will no doubt read it a great many times again. Always an enjoyable read, but the first time had such a profound affect on me. The story draws you in immediately and shortly you become one with the heroine. Changes forever how you view that age of history. ( )
  marsha.carmichael | Oct 29, 2012 |
One of my favorite books on the life of Cynthia Ann Parker. Having read it no less than 5 times, I am delighted each time. Lucia St Clair Robson has masterfully captured the dynamic lifestyle of the American Indian, both the good and the bad, depending on your frame of reference. How wonderful to write with such passion about the historically significant young child and her possible trials and tribulations among a tribe of Indians so foreign to her yet so loving and compasionate. Naduah will capture your heart, make you smile at times, cry at times and above all give you an appreciation of the Indian perspective as they were being exterminated from the American West in ways you have yet to imagine. Such detail to the feelings and possible effect of such an epic dealing with the removal of the American Indian, a noble people, by the soldiers and the settlers has never been shown to compare with this awesome book. The birth of Quannah Parker is depicted within the pages as well as the birth of baby Topsannah, probably the best know picture of Cynthia Ann Parker. ( )
  jonesk43 | Jan 29, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
To
Sallie Ratliff Taylor
Teacher and friend, who said she'd wait on the other side.
First words
Prologue:
Eighteen thirty six was an uneventful year.
A rolling sea of deep grass flecked with a foam of primroses washed upon islands of towering oaks and pecans and walnuts.
Quotations
(Comanche) ride horses the way eagles ride the wind.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
In 1836, when she was nine years old, Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches from her family's settlement.

She grew up with them, mastered their ways, and married one of their leaders. Except for her brilliant blue eyes and golden mane, Cynthia Ann Parker was in every way a Comanche woman. They called her Naduah - Keeps Warm With Us. She rode a horse named Wind.

This is her story, the story of a proud and innocent people whose lives pulsed with the very heartbeat of the land. It is the story of a way of life that is gone forever.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345325222, Mass Market Paperback)

In 1836, when she was nine years old, Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. This is the story of how she grew up with them, mastered their ways, married one of their leaders, and became, in every way, a Comanche woman. It is also the story of a proud and innocent people whose lives pulsed with the very heartbeat of the land. It is the story of a way of life that is gone forever....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A Comanche family adopts Cynthia Parker after kidnapping her in 1836, and she gradually becomes one of them, marrying her captor.

(summary from another edition)

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