Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Search (Across the Great Divide, Book II) by Michael L. Ross #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #America @MichaelLRoss7 @maryanneyarde


I am so excited to share my review of the audio book for The Search (Across the Great Divide, Book II) by Michael L. Ross. Thank you so much to The Coffee Pot Book Club for your invite to take part in this tour.

The Search
(Across the Great Divide, Book II)
By Michael L. Ross

Where do you go when home is no longer an option?

The guns of the Civil War have ceased firing, and the shots are but an echo... yet the war rages on, deep inside Will Crump's soul. His "soldier's heart" is searching for peace, and in that quest Will joins the westward movement, setting his path on a collision course with adventure, loss, and love.

The Westward Expansion floods the sacred, untouched lands with immigrants, bringing conflict to the Shoshone, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Amidst the chaos Will finds safety in the shadow of the US Army, but the army brings battle-hardened troops into Red Cloud's War, pulling Will into a tornado of conflict. Broken treaties and promises leave both sides searching for answers. Will's search leads him to a battle for survival, and there he finds a love that could change him forever.

Dove, a young Shoshone woman, is a survivor of the Bear Creek Massacre. After being kidnapped and escaping from the Cheyenne, she joins Will's search, seeking where she belongs. Dove longs for more than the restricted role placed on women in her tribe. If she can learn to trust a white man, he just might help her find home... and hope.

Together, Will and Dove must search for understanding, and reach Across the Great Divide.

This book should come with a warning, or better still a free box of Kleenex with every copy sold. This book shattered me - my husband is getting very concerned about the emotional effect some books have on my mental health, but I know a book is truly wonderful when it breaks my heart. I am sure the author must have also shed a few tears as the conclusion to this novel comes to an unexpected and dramatic end.

Will Crump, whose story we follow is a wonderfully drawn protagonist. Will was a character who my heart broke for. His is a broken man because of the Civil War, and he is afraid of himself-his thoughts, feelings, and lack of control when he suffers terrible flashbacks about the war and his time as a prisoner, means that he makes the painful decision to leave his family and head for the mountains. I think Ross has really demonstrated his empathetic understanding of what such turmoil can do to someone like Will. Likewise, I really enjoyed reading about Dove. Dove has also suffered terribly, but unlike Will, Dove is determined to live her life and be as true to herself as she can, and for that reason I could not help but admire her.

The Search is a very vibrant, very emotional story about the utterly disgraceful government-backed genocide of the Native American population in the latter half of the 19th Century. To be forced from your homes, to lose the land of your forefathers to the thieving white men is utterly abhorrent. Michael Ross has really demonstrated just how desperate the situation was, and although the narrative focuses primarily from the American army's point of view, Ross does not let his readers forget what it must have been like for the natives during this volatile time in their history. The soldiers were seemingly spoiling for a fight. Although there are incidents where the Indians lay traps for the soldiers, the soldiers were, after all,  the foreign invaders. Although the native's actions may have seemed brutal,  especially the scalping, it was no more barbaric than attacking a village while the inhabitants were still asleep. Greed - it has a lot to answer for.

I was lucky to actually be given a copy of the audio version of this novel. I quite enjoy audiobooks because I can put on my headphones and listen to my heart's content while I am out running or relaxing in the bath - it is actually much the safer option as I am always dropping books in the bath!! But I am getting off the point. I thought Joshua Young did a magnificent job bringing this story to life. Each word was deliberate and measured-Joshua obviously knew this book inside out, which came across in his reading. The gentle timbre of his voice was soothing and was precisely the kind of narrative that this book deserved.

I thought this novel was brilliant from start to finish. I am so glad I was introduced to the work of Michael Ross. This certainly will not be the last book of his that I read.

I received my audio copy of this book from The Coffee Pot Book Club, but you can pick up your audio book from, Chirp, Apple Books and Google Play. If you prefer to read either on Ebook or Paperback then head over to: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, Amazon AU, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo

Best-selling author Michael Ross is a lover of history and great stories. He's a retired software engineer turned author, with three children and five grandchildren, living in Newton, Kansas with his wife of forty years. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas. The main character of "Across the Great Divide", William Dorsey Crump, is one of the founders of Lubbock and Shallowater, Texas. Michael knew Will's granddaughter when he was a child. He has written a scholarly article on Will Crump for the Texas Historical Society, published in the Handbook of Texas Online, and has sold short stories in the past. This is his first novel and the first in the Across the Great Divide series, now an Amazon bestseller.
Michael attended Rice University as an undergraduate, and Portland State University for his graduate degree. He has degrees in computer science, software engineering, and German. In his spare time, Michael loves to go fishing, riding horses, and play with his grandchildren, who are currently all under six years old.

He sees many parallels between the time of the Civil War and our divided nation of today. Sanctuary cities, immigration, arguments around the holiday table, threats of secession - all are nothing new. Sometimes, to understand the present, you have to look at the past- and reach Across the Great Divide.  

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