THE JOURNEY by Anne Cameron


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For all those former little girls who went to the Bijou on Saturdays and had to identify with Dale Evans (who had the slower horse--and no guns), there may be some satisfaction in this ferocious, fanciful ""woman's western""--even if Cameron's emphasis on woman-to-woman bonding ultimately becomes didactically shrill and sexual. Anne Grey, 14-year-old victim of sadistic Uncle Andrew, removes provisions and animals, sets the family house on fire, and is on her way--toting a gun, riding big stallion Dan, and trailing old Bess. Meanwhile, dance-hall girl Sarah watches hot lover hanged, is tarred and feathered by maniacal Sheriff Luke, and winds up more dead than alive. Soon, then, the two girls will team up, traveling together to Freshwater--where heart-of-gold madam Belle feeds them, offers real love, and sets them up in town. But Uncle Andrew and Sheriff Luke catch up with the girls, and Anne must save the day by crashing into a besieged saloon riding Dan: ""I want to see all your fingers pointin' at heaven. And if you're short one finger, you're dead."" So then it's on the road again--with fellow fugitive ""Pilgrim"" (whom they rescue from a posse) and with the gang of ne'er-do-well John Smithers: after putting clown these two men's chauvinistic tendencies, they're traveling West, joined by little Ruth Smithers, hooking up with a wagon train managed by nice Tom (who gets Sarah pregnant, which she doesn't mind at all). Finally, then, the three women will reach the ocean, settling down, acquiring two sweet orphaned black kids. And, after at last getting rid of evil Uncle Andrew (who shows up to kill a child and rape Sarah), the two older women will truly find one another . . . erotically speaking. A saga with just one loud feminist dimension, then--but it's lively for sure, with plenty about horses, oppression (of Chinese workers as well as women), and wilderness living.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Avon