Nina Vida kindly sent me a copy of “The Texicans” for review. This was an eye opening read, I had no idea of the struggles involved in the founding of Texas.
Joseph, a Jewish school teacher from Missouri, heads south to Texas, where his shopkeeper brother has died. When he is robbed by a runaway slave , losing all of his possessions, he continues on foot. This was one determined man! He is rescued by Castro, a man who is bringing people over from Alsace, to establish a town, Casrtoville. Indians, good and bad, Texas Rangers, good and bad, the elements and rough conditions all work against the newcomers.When an Indian chief becomes obsessed with Katrin, an orphan from Alsace,Castro has brought over, Joseph agrees to marry her in order to save her.
Aureila, a Mexican girl who may be a witch, able to heal people just by looking at them, had been sold by her gambler father, to a soldier, spends much of her marriage wishing for her husbands death. When he is killed by Indians, she and her baby are taken to Castroville, where they end up being taken deeper into Texas by Joseph.
Joseph never wanted to be responsible for anyone but himself, but he ends up with a rag tag group, including the slave that robbed him. He is very reluctant to take on the responsibility for so many people. He is cold o his wife, but she bears his children, and carries on. Tragedy, magic,evil and good drive this excellent book. You will learn about Texas, be surprised as I was, and learn to care about the characters.
Obsession, love,bravery, character, and strength are themes that are deftly handled by the author. Anyone interested in a wild and woolly, enthralling look at how west was won, should give this one a try.