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Bohemian Girl

by Terese Svoboda

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401506,252 (3.79)None
Young Harriet's father sells her as a slave to settle his gambling debt with an eccentric Indian--and her story is just beginning. Part Huck Finn, part True Grit, Harriet's story of her encounter with the dark and brutal history of the American West is a true original. When she escapes the strange mound-building obsession of her Pawnee captor, Harriet sets off on a trek to find her father, only to meet with ever-stranger characters and situations along the way. She befriends a Jewish prairie peddler, escapes with a chanteuse, is imprisoned in a stockade and rescued by a Civil War balloonist, and becomes an accidental shopkeeper and the surrogate mother to an abandoned child, while abetting the escape of runaway slaves. A picaresque in the American vein, Terese Svoboda's new novel is the Bohemian answer to Willa Cather's iconic My Ántonia. Lifting the shadows off an entire era of American history in one brave girl's quest to discover who she is, Bohemian Girl gives full play to Svoboda's prodigious talents for finding the dark and the strange in the sunny American story--and the beauty and the hope in its darkest moments.… (more)
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I have very mixed feeling about this book. The story is fascinating, the way it is told less so. The writing style is not my favorite; no quotations marks makes it hard to tell if someone is speaking or thinking to themselves. It is hard to tell who is speaking. The flow of the story is affected by the author's chosen style, and to me, not for the better. I find this type of writing, when not in the hands of a master (Cormac McCarthy) a distraction that takes me out of the story.

The tale of a young girl, lost in a bet to an Indian by her father, is of a strong woman who survives by her wits and brains. The physical and historical settings lend themselves to a novel that I would love to recommend, the writing style prevents me from doing so. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
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Pa lost me on a bet he could not break, nor would, having other daughters to do for, and other debt besides.
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Young Harriet's father sells her as a slave to settle his gambling debt with an eccentric Indian--and her story is just beginning. Part Huck Finn, part True Grit, Harriet's story of her encounter with the dark and brutal history of the American West is a true original. When she escapes the strange mound-building obsession of her Pawnee captor, Harriet sets off on a trek to find her father, only to meet with ever-stranger characters and situations along the way. She befriends a Jewish prairie peddler, escapes with a chanteuse, is imprisoned in a stockade and rescued by a Civil War balloonist, and becomes an accidental shopkeeper and the surrogate mother to an abandoned child, while abetting the escape of runaway slaves. A picaresque in the American vein, Terese Svoboda's new novel is the Bohemian answer to Willa Cather's iconic My Ántonia. Lifting the shadows off an entire era of American history in one brave girl's quest to discover who she is, Bohemian Girl gives full play to Svoboda's prodigious talents for finding the dark and the strange in the sunny American story--and the beauty and the hope in its darkest moments.

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Terese Svoboda is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Terese Svoboda chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 19, 2009 to Oct 30, 2009. Read the chat.

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