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Shining Mountains, Western Sea
by Margaret Wyman

Category: Fiction / Historical
671 pages; ISBN: 1-931857-01-6

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Denise M. Clark


Shining Mountains, Western Sea
By Margaret Wyman
Idyllwild Publishing Co. –2002
P.O. Box 355, Idyllwild, CA 92549
ISBN: 1-931857-01-6
Reviewed by Denise M. Clark
Denise’s Pieces Author Site & Book Reviews

At a whopping 671 pages, this book is not a fast read. Indeed, it is an epic of the type penned in the 1970’s, and so very well done it would hold its own against a John Jakes or a James Michener any day.
Shining Mountains, Western Sea is an adventure that follows the Lewis & Clark Expeditions that set out at the beginning to the 19th Century. It’s a story told through the eyes of the crewmen that made up the exploration party, mainly through the perspective of young George Shannon, the youngest and greenest member of the expedition.
Riddled with historically accurate characters and incidents, this ambitious tale runs the gamut of emotion and plot as the reader follows George from civilization to the rugged wilds of the Western Territory of the first decade of the 1800’s. The book takes the reader from Kentucky to the Mandan villages of the eastern Plains to the forks of the great Missouri before heading out into the open Plains – meeting hostile tribes and dangerous situations nearly every step of the way.
Ms. Wyman’s extremely thorough research shines through in this awesome retelling of one of the most daring explorations ever attempted in the Americas. The reader will revel in the majesty of the plains and the Tetons, shiver during dangerous river crossings, and bask in the sunshine of their meadows. Rich in sensory input and description, one can literally smell the campfires and feel the cold wind creep into the bones… and the hairs on the back of the neck to rise at the sight of the Nez Pierce, Mandan, Crow and Sioux the party meets along the way. As a lover of history, this reader happily buried herself within the pages of this ambitious though richly rewarding work by Ms. Wyman. There are not enough adjectives to properly praise this work, so suffice it to say it is a creation borne of love, determination and a love of history that is rarely seen in today’s authors. An extremely satisfying read that will not be soon forgotten.



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