BRIDAL JOURNEY by Dale Van Every
Kirkus Star


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The Shining Mountains was a 194 success. Now comes Bridal Journey, again a story of our western frontiers and the men who built and held them. First rate yarning, with characters that, in the main, stand out boldly, three dimensionally, against the seething unrest of the Ohio-Kentucky-western Pennsylvania region in the turmoil of revolution. George Rogers Clark was holding Pittsburgh, with pitifully slight support; the test lay in the regions to the west, and north to Detroit, south to the Kentucky line, where Indians were being lured into the British net -- and settlements were sparsely manned, and illy fortified. Colby Gower had built staunchly on this frontier's farthest reach -- and prepared elaborately for the bride whom he had chosen two years' before from a mountain cabin -- and schooled to fill the role he envisioned. March was westward bound, in a guarded train, but just short of her goal, an Indian attack scattered the train, and made Marah captive of a cruel and grotesquely ugly chief. Into the story now comes Colby's renegade cousin, Abner, suspect of both sides as dealing treacherously with the other -- on the make -- a drifter and waster. As the threads of the story pull together, Abner's role continues to baffle the reader (as well as his detractors) but it is he who is built to heroic dimensions, as he rescues March, and with her makes the incredible escape and a 200 mile trek to Gower's fort, where he delivers the bride -- is himself arrested as a deserter and tried and condemned -- seemingly again betrays the rebel cause, but actually proves his soundness and wins the girl from his self-righteous cousin.... Adventure-romance- fast paced story, with some of the true and tried traditional techniques, but enough of freshness and imagination to give it high rating in its field. Despite the moot question of Marh's violated virginity, a deciding factor towards the end of the story, this need not be handled with gloves, and might well have a plus young adult sale.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1950
Publisher: Messner