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Ride the Wind by Lucia St Clair Robson
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Ride the Wind (original 1982; edition 1985)

by Lucia St Clair Robson

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3011537,236 (4.34)65
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, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Historical Fiction, American West, Comanche

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Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson (1982)

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English (14)  Dutch (1)  English (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Just finished Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson. I have read this book before...about 20 years ago. While I understood the book was based on the true story of the kidnap of Cynthia Parker at the age of nine by the Comanches and I did remember some of the story as I came to it but it in no way interfered with my enjoyment of this novel the second time around.

I read another book on the Comanches written by Mike Blakely titled Comanche Dawn. This is a great companion novel to Ride The Wind. Blakely's novel is about the beginning of the Comanche nation when they discovered horses and use them to dominate their enemies. This novel ends in the 1500's. Robson's novel starts in the 1800's when the Comanche is at their peak but the expansion of white settlers encroach on their territory and way of life.... the two books complement each other in my opinion

Both books give an incredible amount of detail of life as a Comanche. For me, though life as a Comanche was brutal and the tribes fought each other... this was their culture back then, a way of young men to gain status and the women could be just as brutal... this was their way of life and it is sad to see how treaty after treaty was broken, promises not kept and the use of starvation and disease by the whites was horrible.

I gave both books 5 stars... if I could give more, I would ( )
  Lynxear | Oct 21, 2016 |
What a great read this book turned out to be! It's the historical fiction retelling of the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, kidnapped at the age of nine by a Comanche war band who massacred her family’s settlement in Texas. She was adopted by the Comanche and lived with them for 24 years, eventually marrying a Comanche chieftain and having three children with him, including the last free Comanche chief Quanah Parker. When she was 34, she was finally "rescued" by the Texas Rangers and returned to her white family. She spent the remaining years of her life in lonely misery, refusing to adjust to life in white society. The author appears to have thoroughly researched the conflict between the Comanche tribe and the Texans. I appreciated the way she told both sides of the story and the way Cynthia Ann Parker (Naduah in Comanche) is portrayed. In reality she never told anyone about her life among the Comanche but based on the stories from her son, Quanah Parker, I would like to think that the author's version was how it happened.

I enjoyed this book very much but it is very difficult to read in places. It's often violent, very shocking reading, and is not for the faint of heart. Some of the atrocities were very difficult to read through especially the deaths of the children and babies. They die from disease and from the elements but many of them are brutally tortured and murdered.

This is a wonderfully written and readable book. The author does a great job of describing the culture and time period. In many ways it is a heartbreaking book that documents a time and way of life that is gone forever. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
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 |
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To
Sallie Ratliff Taylor
Teacher and friend, who said she'd wait on the other side.
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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.
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(Comanche) ride horses the way eagles ride the wind.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -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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